The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for a local authority: A case study in Italy
The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) has been calculated for many countries, but rarely at the local level. This paper shows how the index has been calculated for the Province of Siena, Central Italy. The whole procedure is illustrated step by step, including the search for the most suitable and precise methods to obtain reliable values for each item composing the index. Application of ISEW at a very local level was found to be feasible. The most general difficulty encountered was the lack of an adequate institutionalised source of statistical information to support the construction of indicators other than purely economic or demographic ones. The availability of data depends on the interest in implementing projects of sustainable management of natural resources and land on the part of local authorities and their consequent willingness to invest money and human resources on such projects. The ISEW is a good tool for local environmental policy, because it gives a more realistic representation of the well-being of the population than GDP, since it includes environmental and social items not considered in conventional national accounting. Furthermore, in Italy, the principle of administrative decentralization has been implemented in recent years to such an extent that the central government devolved part of its power to Regions, Provinces and Municipalities. Arguably, local authorities should therefore allocate more resources to pursue their policies towards sustainability, an issue which modern electoral campaigns are often based on. The results for the Province of Siena show that there is a large gap between local GDP and ISEW (about 37% of GDP).
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If 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.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Castaneda, Beatriz E., 1999. "An index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for Chile," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 231-244, February.
- Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
- 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.
- Sebastian Gil & Jerzy Sleszynski, 2003. "An index of sustainable economic welfare for Poland," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 47-55.
- Max-Neef, Manfred, 1995. "Economic growth and quality of life: a threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-118, November.
- William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973.
"Is Growth Obsolete?,"
in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- England, Richard W., 1998. "Measurement of social well-being: alternatives to gross domestic product," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 89-103, April.
- Lawn, Philip A. & Sanders, Richard D., 1999. "Has Australia surpassed its optimal macroeconomic scale? Finding out with the aid of 'benefit' and 'cost' accounts and a sustainable net benefit index," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 213-229, February.
- 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.
- Costanza, Robert & Erickson, Jon & Fligger, Karen & Adams, Alan & Adams, Christian & Altschuler, Ben & Balter, Stephanie & Fisher, Brendan & Hike, Jessica & Kelly, Joe, 2004. "Estimates of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) for Vermont, Chittenden County and Burlington, from 1950 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 139-155, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:60:y:2006:i:1:p:271-281. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.