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An arrow in the Achilles' heel of sustainability and wealth accounting


  • Smulders, Sjak


How sustainable is the growth pattern of a national economy? At first, answering this question seems almost impossible, since this would require knowing what happens and what can happen in the future. One needs to assess whether the investments we make today will be sufficient to provide future generations with the means to cope with imminent disasters like the exhaustion of minerals and vital resources, or other problems like increasing population pressure and climate change. One also needs to assess which combination of investment leads to the desired result. If entrepreneurs, managers and households already have problems in finding out what is the best mix of investment for them in their micro-environment, how can we answer the aggregate question that needs so much more information?

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  • Smulders, Sjak, 2012. "An arrow in the Achilles' heel of sustainability and wealth accounting," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 368-372, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:17:y:2012:i:03:p:368-372_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. מחקר - ביטוח לאומי, 2006. "Annual Survey 2005," Working Papers 15, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    2. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-356, May.
    3. Kenneth J. Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "The genuine savings criterion and the value of population," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 217-225, March.
    4. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
    5. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    6. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247882, June.
    7. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
    8. repec:reg:rpubli:132 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
    10. William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "The Health of Nations: The Contribution of Improved Health to Living Standards," NBER Working Papers 8818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Géraldine THIRY & Philippe ROMAN, 2015. "L’indice de richesse inclusive : l’économie Mainstream au-delà de ses limites, mais en deçà de la soutenabilité ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Pezzey, John C.V. & Burke, Paul J., 2014. "Towards a more inclusive and precautionary indicator of global sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 141-154.
    3. Roman, Philippe & Thiry, Géraldine, 2016. "The inclusive wealth index. A critical appraisal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 185-192.
    4. Engelbrecht, Hans-Jürgen, 2016. "Comprehensive versus inclusive wealth accounting and the assessment of sustainable development: An empirical comparison," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 12-20.
    5. repec:spr:minecn:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-017-0109-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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