Vol. 2 No. 2 (2018)

Postmaterial Experience Economics, Population, and Environmental Sustainability

Douglas Booth
Marquette University
This image of the cover of this issue of The Journal of Population and Sustainability has the title in block letters on a grey-green background.

Published 2018-05-01


  • postmaterialism,
  • experience economics,
  • sustainability,
  • population

How to Cite

Booth, Douglas. 2018. “Postmaterial Experience Economics, Population, and Environmental Sustainability”. The Journal of Population and Sustainability 2 (2):33–50. https://doi.org/10.3197/jps.2018.2.2.33.


Postmaterial values with their reduced emphasis on accumulating material possessions lead to greater political support for limits on environmental pollution and to a less entropic way of life that increases environmental sustainability. Similarly, reducing human fertility to replacement levels can stabilize population and increase environmental sustainability in the future by reducing the pressure of population growth on environmental resources. In recent history, increases in per capita economic well being has been a primary driver of expansion in postmaterialism and reduce human fertility worldwide. The irony of this phenomena is that economic development potentially destructive to the environment leads to more postmaterialism and reduced fertility, both of which benefit environmental sustainability. In this article, the underpinnings of these conclusions will be set out as well as possible ways around the dilemma they bring.


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