Dynamic multidimensional assessment of sustainability at the macro level: The case of Austria
AbstractThis paper explores the issue of sustainability at the macro scale employing multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) methods. The incommensurability of values and the essentially multi-dimensional and dynamic nature of sustainability challenge the use of composite measurement indices. This determined the choice of MCDA methods. Austria was chosen as a case study, due to the wide availability of data, especially on indicators of strong sustainability. The structure of the multi-criteria problem comprised the evolution of different sustainability dimensions over time. The process for selecting criteria included a critical assessment of institutional sustainability agendas (UN, EU and Austrian Government) and theoretical recommendations. After an assessment of MCDA methods, the NAIADE method demonstrated the most suitable properties for sustainability assessment. The application of this outranking approach was undertaken in three separate settings: long-term from 1960 to 2003, medium-term, 1970-1995, and short-term, 1995-2003 with varying numbers of criteria. The response of results to the addition of evaluating criteria and periods was tested. The degree of credibility for accepting preference relations was also employed for sensitivity analysis. According to the results of long-term and medium-term assessments, especially in the weak sustainability setting, sustainable progress is taking place in Austria. In the short term, in the stronger sustainability setting and, especially as the number of criteria increases, more incomparable periods appear and trends are less determined. Moreover, it is shown how results crucially depend on the methodological choices. This is one of the first applications of the multi-criteria tools to the dynamic analysis of sustainability at the macro scale.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 10 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Sustainable development Sustainability assessment Multicriteria analysis Multi-criteria decision aid Dynamic trends Macroeconomics NAIADE Austria;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Madlener, Reinhard & Stagl, Sigrid, 2005. "Sustainability-guided promotion of renewable electricity generation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 147-167, April.
- Ayres, Robert U., 2007. "On the practical limits to substitution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 115-128, February.
- Gamboa, Gonzalo & Munda, Giuseppe, 2007. "The problem of windfarm location: A social multi-criteria evaluation framework," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1564-1583, March.
- Roy, Bernard & Vincke, Philippe, 1981. "Multicriteria analysis: survey and new directions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 207-218, November.
- van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Nijkamp, Peter, 1991. "Operationalizing sustainable development: dynamic ecological economic models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 11-33, October.
- Neumayer, Eric, 2000. "On the methodology of ISEW, GPI and related measures: some constructive suggestions and some doubt on the 'threshold' hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 347-361, September.
- Munda, G. & Nijkamp, P. & Rietveld, P., 1992.
"Qualitative multicriteria methods for fuzzy evaluation problems : an illustration of economic-ecological evaluation,"
Serie Research Memoranda
0057, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
- Munda, G. & Nijkamp, P. & Rietveld, P., 1995. "Qualitative multicriteria methods for fuzzy evaluation problems: An illustration of economic-ecological evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 79-97, April.
- Martinez-Alier, Joan & Munda, Giuseppe & O'Neill, John, 1998. "Weak comparability of values as a foundation for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 277-286, September.
- Guitouni, Adel & Martel, Jean-Marc, 1998. "Tentative guidelines to help choosing an appropriate MCDA method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 501-521, September.
- Pearce, David W. & Atkinson, Giles D., 1993. "Capital theory and the measurement of sustainable development: an indicator of "weak" sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 103-108, October.
- Weisz, Helga & Krausmann, Fridolin & Amann, Christof & Eisenmenger, Nina & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Hubacek, Klaus & Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, 2006. "The physical economy of the European Union: Cross-country comparison and determinants of material consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 676-698, July.
- Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric, 2007. "Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-626, March.
- Hanley, Nick & Moffatt, Ian & Faichney, Robin & Wilson, Mike, 1999. "Measuring sustainability: A time series of alternative indicators for Scotland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 55-73, January.
- Lawn, Philip A., 2003. "A theoretical foundation to support the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), and other related indexes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 105-118, February.
- Munda, Giuseppe, 2004. "Social multi-criteria evaluation: Methodological foundations and operational consequences," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(3), pages 662-677, November.
- Kurka, Thomas & Blackwood, David, 2013. "Participatory selection of sustainability criteria and indicators for bioenergy developments," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 92-102.
- Stanislav Edward Shmelev (ODID), .
"Environmentally Extended Input-Output Analysis of the UK Economy: Key Sector Analysis,"
QEH Working Papers
qehwps183, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Shmelev, Stanislav Edward, 2010. "Environmentally Extended Input–Output Analysis of the UK Economy: Key Sector Analysis," MPRA Paper 27206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Blancas, Francisco J. & Caballero, Rafael & González, Mercedes & Lozano-Oyola, Macarena & Pérez, Fátima, 2010. "Goal programming synthetic indicators: An application for sustainable tourism in Andalusian coastal counties," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2158-2172, September.
- Bojkovic, Natasa & Anic, Ivan & Pejcic-Tarle, Snezana, 2010. "One solution for cross-country transport-sustainability evaluation using a modified ELECTRE method," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1176-1186, March.
- Stanislav Edward Shmelev (ODID), . "Dynamic Sustainability Assessment: The Case of Russia in the Period of Transition (1985-2007)," QEH Working Papers qehwps182, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Stanislav Edward Shmelev (ODID), . "Multi-criteria Assessment of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: New Dimensions and Stakeholders in the South of France," QEH Working Papers qehwps181, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
- Floridi, Matteo & Pagni, Simone & Falorni, Simone & Luzzati, Tommaso, 2011. "An exercise in composite indicators construction: Assessing the sustainability of Italian regions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1440-1447, June.
- Jeffrey Wilson & Peter Tyedmers, 2013. "Rethinking What Counts. Perspectives on Wellbeing and Genuine Progress Indicator Metrics from a Canadian Viewpoint ," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 187-202, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.