This is a hypothetical question, with the intention of exploring the nature of wealth and standard of living.
By zero growth, I mean that the output of goods and services produced per person does not grow over time. However durable goods produced will start to accumulate hence improving the life conditions of people in this zero-growth world.
E.g. if society builds X number of houses per year for a fixed population, then people should in principle start having considerably more living space. At some point however the labor required to maintain all these houses will be more than the labour needed to build. Thus at some point the number of houses will not grow, because all labour is caught up in maintaining what already exists.
I would like to hear people's thoughts on what such an equilibrium would look like. Say society is technologically at 1900, and there is no technological progression. If we gave such a society say 200 years, how close could they get to our present western living standards?
One society to use for inspiration to think about this would be the Amish people. They are in a lot of ways stuck in the late 1800s, early 1900s. Their productivity and technology is not really advancing much, but they can still accumulate wealth in the form of furniture, houses, tools etc.
However the Amish population grows fairly rapidly so that keeps the role of inheritance limited. In my world one would have to imagine a sort of Amish society with stagnant population (each couple gets about two children).