Madhavi Venkatesan (Northeastern University, USA)
Giuliano Luongo (The Niccolò Cusano University, Italy)

SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All

ISBN: 978-1-78973-094-4, eISBN: 978-1-78973-091-3

Publication date: 30 August 2019


Venkatesan, M. and Luongo, G. (2019), "Prelims", SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All (Concise Guides to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Madhavi Venkatesan and Giuliano Luongo

Half Title Page

SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All

Series Page

Concise Guides to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Series Editors

Walter Leal Filho

World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Mark Mifsud

Centre for Environmental Education and Research, University of Malta

This series comprises 17 short books, each examining one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The series provides an integrated assessment of the SDGs from an economic, social, environmental and cultural perspective. Books in the series critically analyse and assess the SDGs from a multidisciplinary and a multiregional standpoint, with each title demonstrating innovation in theoretical and empirical analysis, methodology and application of the SDG concerned.

Titles in this series have a particular focus on the means to implement the SDGs, and each one includes a short introduction to the SDG in question along with a synopsis of their implications on the economic, social, environmental and cultural domains.

Title Page

SDG8 – Sustainable Economic Growth and Decent Work for All

Concise Guides to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Madhavi Venkatesan

Northeastern University, USA

Giuliano Luongo

The Niccolò Cusano University, Italy

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2019

© 2019 Madhavi Venkatesan and Giuliano Luongo. Published under exclusive license by Emerald Publishing Limited. The content of this publication has not been approved by the United Nations and does not reflect the views of the United Nations or its officials or Member States. For more information on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals see:

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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-78973-094-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78973-091-3 (E-ISBN)

ISBN: 978-1-78973-093-7 (Epub)


To all people actively engaged in forming an equal society.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead


List of Figures and Tables xi
About the Authors xiii
Introduction to SDG 8 Economic Growth and Decent Work for All 1
1. Sustainable Development Goal 8 in Context 5
Introduction 5
Millennium Development Goals 9
Sustainable Development Goals 22
Sustainable Development Goal 8 27
  Components of SDG 8 27
  SDG 8 and the SDGs 32
  Potential Emerging Issues 33
Summary 37
2. Economic Growth 39
Introduction 39
Measuring Economic Growth 40
Economic Growth and Energy Production 44
Energy Production and Climate Change 47
Decoupling Growth 51
Consumption and Economic Growth 56
Consumption and Sustainable Growth 59
Summary 63
3. Decent Work 65
Introduction 65
Historical Review, Defining Decent Work 68
  Mission of ILO 74
Ensuring Decent Work 75
Decent Work and CSR 76
Decent Work, Trade and Gender Equality 80
  Decent Work and the Gender Wage Gap 83
Decent Work and Poverty Alleviation 88
Summary 90
4. Future Prospects: Issues to be Addressed 91
Introduction 91
Economic Growth and Unpaid Work 95
Economic Growth and Trade 98
Sustainability Aligned Economic Indicators 104
Conclusion 108
References 111
Index 141

List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 1
Fig. 1. Millennium Development Goals. 10
Fig. 2. Number of People Living on Less Than $1.25 a Day Worldwide, 1990–2015 (Millions). 14
Fig. 3. Adjusted Net Enrolment Rate for Primary Education, 2000 and 2015 (%). 14
Fig. 4. Proportion of Seats Held by Women in Single or Lower Houses of National Parliament, 2000 and 2015 (%). 15
Fig. 5. Under-five Mortality Rate, 1990 and 2015 (Deaths Per 1,000 Live Births). 16
Fig. 6. Maternal Mortality Ratio, 1990 and 2013 (Maternal Deaths Per 100,000 Live Births, Women Aged 15–49). 16
Fig. 7. HIV Incidence Rate (Estimated Number of New HIV Infections, 2001 and 2013 (Thousands)). 17
Fig. 8. Emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 1990 and 2012 (Billions of Tonnes, Data for 2012 Are Preliminary). 18
Fig. 9. External Debt Service Payments as Proportion of Export Revenues, All Developing Countries, 2000–2013 (%). 19
Fig. 10. Sustainable Development Goals. 24
Fig. 11. Sustainable Development Goal 8. 28
Chapter 2
Fig. 1. Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration: 1960–2018. 46
Fig. 2. Global GDP (Constant 2010 US Dollars). 47
Fig. 3. Shares (%) of Global Primary Energy Consumption by Fuel Source. 48
Fig. 4. Cumulative CO2 Emissions 1850–2011 (% of World Total). 49
Fig. 5. Production Possibility Frontier. 57
Chapter 1
Table 1. Millennium Development Goals. 11
Table 2. Sustainable Development Goals. 25
Table 3. SDG 8 Targets and Indicators. 29
Chapter 2
Table 1. Components of GDP. 42
Chapter 3
Table 1. Global Multidimensional Poverty Index. 86

About the Authors

Madhavi Venkatesan is a Faculty Member in the Department of Economics at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her present academic interests focus on sustainable economic development and the role of women in fostering sustainability. She serves as the Executive Director of Sustainable Practices, a 501(c)3 non-profit that she founded in 2016. Sustainable Practices is focused on increasing financial and economic literacy to facilitate sustainability. She earned a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is the Author of numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the subject of sustainability and economics as well as the texts Economic Principles: A Primer, A Framework for Sustainable Practices, Foundations in Microeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and Foundations in Macroeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices.

Giuliano Luongo is Acting Director at the EU-China Economics and Politics Institute (Prague and Brussels), and Contract Professor at the University of Rome ‘N. Cusano’, Department of Political Science, Department of Economics and Engineering. His current academic interests focus on sustainability education, public health and innovation policies, and the relations between development and security. He worked for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in the area of STI-STICT policies. He has authored various articles related to sustainability, security and international politics.