Herman Daly, 84, Who Challenged the Economic Gospel of Growth, Dies

By the time Dr. Daly received his doctorate from Vanderbilt in 1967, he was teaching at L.S.U. There, he began to focus more closely on the interconnections between the economy, the environment and ethics, with an emphasis on the steady-state principles articulated by the 19th-century British economist John Stuart Mill. Dr. Daly published his first book, “Toward a Steady-State Economy,” in 1973.

He remained at L.S.U. until 1988, when, in an unlikely move, he joined the World Bank in Washington as a senior economist in the environment department. “It was a big surprise for me that the World Bank, whose basic policy was economic growth, offered me a job,” he wrote.

While there, he developed his “three rules for sustainable development” and worked with others to try to change the bank’s system for measuring G.D.P. to reflect environmental costs. The efforts, he wrote, were “to little or no avail.” He moved to the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy in 1994, taking emeritus status in 2010.

Dr. Daly’s other notable books include “For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future” (1989), written with the theologian John B. Cobb Jr.

John Fullerton, a former commercial banker who now leads the Capital Institute, a research organization based in Stonington, Conn., whose work is aligned with the book’s prescriptions, is among those who have been influenced by “For the Common Good.”

In an interview, Mr. Fullerton said one of Dr. Daly’s most important contributions was his focus on “a pursuit of development that was not physical to achieve prosperity.” Another, he said, was to argue that traditional approaches to finance and economics “lead us off a cliff.”

Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *