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Adjusted net savings and other approaches to sustaibability: some theoretical backgroud

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Author Info

  • D. BLANCHET

    (Insee)

  • J. LE CACHEUX

    (OFCE)

  • V. MARCUS

    (Insee)

Abstract

The Stiglitz report on the measurement of economic performance and social progress has been recently released. Part of this report is devoted to the issue of measuring sustainability. One of the sustainability indexes it considers is the concept of adjusted net savings (ANS). Compared to other indexes, it has the advantage of being truly concentrated on measuring sustainability stricto sensu, avoiding a frequent confusion between the measurement of sustainability and the measurement of current well-being. It also relies on an explicit accounting framework, and it includes all potential dimensions of global sustainability: physical and human capital accumulation, as well as changes in quantities or quality of environmental assets. But the major stumbling block is the definition of prices that are needed for valuing these different groups of assets. In a context of notoriously imperfect markets, these prices cannot be observed. They have to be imputed. This paper recalls what are the theoretical requirements for this imputation, and that they are quite strong: what is needed is no less than a full model projecting long term interactions between the economy and the environment. We use this observation as a point of departure for explaining why consensus on sustainability measurement is so difficult to reach, and how this argues in favor of more eclectic approaches mixing the ANS with some complementary indicators focusing on environmental issues.

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File URL: http://www.insee.fr/en/publications-et-services/docs_doc_travail/G2009-10.pdf
File Function: Document de travail de la DESE numéro G2009-10
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE in its series Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE with number g2009-10.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2009-10

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Related research

Keywords: sustainability; adjusted net savings; imputed prices;

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Cited by:
  1. Céline Antonin & Thomas Melonio & Xavier Timbeau, 2011. "L’épargne nette ré-ajustée," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  2. Eloi Laurent, 2011. "Economie du développement soutenable," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09hi4j70a29 is not listed on IDEAS

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