The Doughnut

A concept created by Oxford economist Kate Raworth, the Doughnut is a model that shows how to set goals more sustainably to create economies that thrive.

Why was it made?

Most countries measure their economies’ success by using GDP per capita. This is a good indicator of economic growth but has many flaws – for example, it does not take into account inequality. There are many other ways to measure economic growth and welfare (check my article here!)

What is it?

Kate Raworth, the creator of the Doughnut, identifies the shortcomings and failures of economics, down to problems in the way it is taught and suggests radical reforms in the different systems, goals and ideologies that economists work with. Raworth has created an image of the ‘Doughnut’ in an effort to tackle these issues, and provide a framework for governments and economists to better plan ahead and set goals. The Doughnut, as seen above, is a ring of social and ecological equilibrium, with social issues within the ring and environmental crises outside the outer ring. The primary aim of a government, and the global economy overall, is to ensure that all the social issues within the ring are resolved and stay out of the inside while preventing environmental damage that could force economies outside the ring. If this balance can be maintained, economies can thrive inside the safe and just space of the ring and possibly grow sustainably. However, Raworth also highlights that obsession with growth is one of the reasons why it is so difficult for modern economies to stick to the way of the Doughnut – it is very difficult for a government to see a reduction in their output on paper, even if in reality their people are actually happier and their society is functioning better.

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One response to “The Doughnut”

  1. Glad to see 101 with its interesting articles.


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