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Strong economy begins with shrinking workforce

Strong Economy Begins With Shrinking Workforce

A new study debunks depopulation panic. For decades economists have perpetuated the false narrative, “If population growth reverses and begins to decline, the economy is doomed.” This belief has so frequently been repeated by economists, politicians, business people and the public, that it is generally taken as gospel. Psychologists have characterized the phenomenon as the illusory-truth effect, or believing something to be true if it’s repeated often enough, even if it is false.

For the first time in modern history, a handful of countries are witnessing actual population declines. The data is now available to separate reality from what has heretofore been baseless theory.

Strong economy begins with shrinking workforceAn October 2023 study conducted by Professors Theodore Lianos, Anastasia Pseiridis and Nicholas Tsounis, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications and featured on examined volumes of economic data of twenty countries experiencing population declines. To their surprise, virtually every country with a contracting population enjoyed reduced unemployment, increased wages, and a larger real GDP per capita!

Guest-host Terry Spahr, Executive Director of Earth Overshoot, speaks with the study’s authors to illuminate their findings that dispel the firmly entrenched false notion that endless growth is the only path to economic salvation.


Theodore Lianos Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business

Anastasia Pseiridis Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Regional Development Panteion University

Regular co-hosts Dave Gardner and Stephanie Gardner are taking a break from the podcast while Dave runs for U.S. President this year. If you would like to guest-host a podcast, email us with details of the episode you would like to produce and host.


Declining Population and GDP Growth

Summary published at The Overpopulation Project

Earth Overshoot

Dave Gardner’s Campaign

This is episode 84 of the GrowthBusters podcast, recorded in January of 2024. Give Us Feedback:
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The GrowthBusters theme song was written and produced by Jake Fader and sung by Carlos Jones.

On the GrowthBusters podcast, we come to terms with the limits to growth, explore the joy of sustainable living, and provide a recovery program from our society’s growth addiction (economic/consumption and population). This podcast is part of the GrowthBusters project to raise awareness of overshoot and end our culture’s obsession with, and pursuit of, growth.

Dave Gardner directed the documentary GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth, which Stanford Biologist Paul Ehrlich declared “could be the most important film ever made.” Co-host Stephanie Gardner has degrees in Environmental Studies and Environmental Law & Policy.

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