by Katharina Bohnenberger and Martin Fritz
Current welfare systems rely on economic growth to manage the mounting challenges of demographic change, digitalisation and ecological and economic crises. One consequence of this structural dependence on economic growth is that there are often negative social and economic outcomes in times of secular stagnation and recession.
Transforming welfare systems so that they flourish without economic growth is a pressing challenge that will have significant implications for the sustainability of our welfare systems and the economic and social resilience of our societies. Research on sustainable welfare identifies four main strategies to reduce the reliance of welfare systems on economic growth, and increase their resilience in an ecologically sustainable way: