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Abstract: Degrowth should consider the right to work – a Job Guarantee (JG) – as a way of making a smaller economy more just and socially sustainable. Economic shrinkage in richer countries is accompanied by increased unemployment, a bad enough problem in itself but also a barrier to voters’ acceptance of the degrowth path. Since being out of work is distinct from being poor, anti-poverty income policies should be approached separately. The JG is one of several paths to full employment, including reduced working time. This essay only briefly mentions some real-world JG programs and some technical objections. The main suggestion is to move employment from being a matter of economics, particularly economic growth, to being a political right. A right to work is necessarily effective and would avoid sacrificing the ecological and social goals of degrowth on the altar of full employment.

Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 38, January 2013, Pages 56–60, Degrowth: From Theory to Practice