School of Earth and Environment

Daniel O'Neill Dr Daniel O'Neill

Lecturer in Environmental and Ecological Economics

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 31631
Email address:
Room: 10.119
Twitter: @DrDanONeill


I am a Lecturer in Environmental and Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds, and the Chief Economist at the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. My research focuses on the changes that would be needed to achieve a sustainable economy within planetary boundaries, and the relationships between resource use and human well-being.

One of the ideas that I have explored in depth is the concept of a "steady-state economy". Simply put, this is an economy where resource use and waste emissions are stabilised, and kept within ecological limits. Stabilising resource use may have very important consequences for national economies, and I investigate how to deal with these in my work.

I am co-author (with Rob Dietz) of the book Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, which has recently been made into a short film. In my recent research, I've developed a system of national indicators to measure how close countries are to a steady-state economy, and what proximity to such an economy means for their social performance.

View my recent talk on the Economics of Enough at the 2014 TEDx Oxbridge Conference:


  • PhD in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds
  • Master of Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University
  • BSc in Physics, University of Victoria


Research Interests

  • Macroeconomics of sustainability
  • Environmental, social, and economic indicators
  • Relationships between resource use and human well-being
  • Steady-state economics and degrowth
  • Monetary and employment policy

Teaching Interests

I am the Programme Manager for our new MSc Ecological Economics degree. The modules that I teach on include:

  • SOEE 2610: Economics and Sustainability
  • SOEE 3750: Sustainability Economics in Practice
  • SOEE 5093: Introduction to Ecological and Environmental Economics
  • SOEE 5582: Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics

My office hours are Monday 1100-1300 (other times by appointment).



Book Chapters

  • Kerschner, C., and O'Neill, D.W. (2015). Economic Growth and Sustainability, in Kopnina, H., and Shoreman-Ouimet, E. (Eds.) Sustainability: Key Issues, Routledge, London, pp. 243-276.
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2014). Gross Domestic Product, in G. D'Alisa, et al. (Eds.) Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era, Routledge, London, pp. 103-106.

Journal Articles

  • O'Neill, D.W. (2015). The proximity of nations to a socially sustainable steady-state economy. Journal of Cleaner Production 108, 1213-1231. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.07.116 New!
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2015). What should be held steady in a steady-state economy? Interpreting Daly's definition at the national level. Journal of Industrial Ecology 19 (4), 552-563. doi: 10.1111/jiec.12224
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2012). Measuring progress in the degrowth transition to a steady state economy. Ecological Economics 84, 221-231. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.05.020
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2010). Economic growth: enough is enough. Nature 468 (7326), 897. doi: 10.1038/468897b
  • O'Neill, D.W., and Abson, D.J. (2009). To settle of protect? A global analysis of net primary production in parks and urban areas. Ecological Economics 69, 319-327. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.08.028
  • O'Neill, D.W., Tyedmers, P.H., and Beazley, K.F. (2007). Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Regional Environmental Change 7, 1-14. doi: 10.1007/s10113-006-0021-1

Reports and Conference Papers

  • O'Neill, D.W. (2013). How close are countries to a socially sustainable steady-state economy? Results from the Degrowth Accounts. 10th Biennal Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics, Lille, France, June 18-21.
  • O'Neill, D.W., Dietz, R., and Jones, N. (Eds.), 2010. Enough Is Enough: Ideas for a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources. The Report of the Steady State Economy Conference. CASSE and Economic Justice for All, Leeds, UK.
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2010). Measuring progress: indicators for degrowth. Second Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity. Barcelona, Spain, March 26-29.
  • Bowen, A., Forster, P.M., Gouldson, A., Hubacek, K., Martin, R., O'Neill, D.W., Rap, A., and Rydge, J. (2009). The Implications of the Economic Slowdown for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Targets. Working Paper 11, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), University of Leeds, UK.
  • O'Neill, D.W. (2008). Steady state economies and recession: the same or different? Preliminary results of an empirical analysis. Pages 116-122 in Proceedings of the Green Economics Conference 2008. Green Economics Institute, Oxford, UK.

Popular Press