Theoretical foundations of sustainable economic welfare indicators -- ISEW and political economy of the disembedded system
The conceptual foundations of the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) are surveyed and critiqued. It is argued that the three underlying theories of community, psychic income, and social welfare economics supply certain theoretical foundations for the ISEW. The focal point of the theories is to evaluate the positives and negatives of economic growth, with the hope of achieving a practical measure of sustainable economic welfare. However, they are not as well developed as they should be: the three theories have partial, underdeveloped explanations of the benefits (services) and costs (disservices) generated in the system. The theoretical particulars of ISEW abstract from the workings of the capitalist system, because the ISEW advocates have not specified a society in the socioeconomic system which we currently have. Specifically, there is no underlying linked systems view of the disembedded economy -- where the exchange economy tends to dominate other aspects of culture. Without a systematic understanding of the political economy of capitalism, the ISEW is potentially flawed in design. Therefore, there is a need to search for a critical approach to sustainable economic welfare. As a point of departure, it is better to have a political economy theory. The political economy of the disembedded system provides an alternative theoretical approach to ISEW.
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.:
- Sen, Amartya, 1970. "Interpersonal Aggregation and Partial Comparability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 393-409, May.
- Philip Lawn, 2005. "An Assessment of the Valuation Methods Used to Calculate the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), and Sustainable Net Benefit Index (SNBI)," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 185-208, 06.
- Giles Atkinson & Richard Dubourg & Kirk Hamilton & Mohan Munasinghe & David Pearce & Carlos Young, 1997. "Measuring Sustainable Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1242.
- Matthew Clarke & Sardar M. N. Islam, 2006. "National account measures and sustainability objectives: present approaches and future prospects," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 219-233.
- Daniel T. Slesnick, 1998. "Empirical Approaches to the Measurement of Welfare," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2108-2165, December.
- Islam, Sardar M. N. & Munasinghe, Mohan & Clarke, Matthew, 2003. "Making long-term economic growth more sustainable: evaluating the costs and benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 149-166, December.
- Christian Leipert, 1989. "Social Costs of the Economic Process and National Accounts: The Example of Defensive Expenditures," Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, , vol. 3(1), pages 27-46, January.
- Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
- 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, 2004.
"Sustainability and Well-being Indicators,"
WIDER Working Paper Series
023, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Yew-Kwang Ng, 2003. "From preference to happiness: Towards a more complete welfare economics," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 20(2), pages 307-350, March.
- Matthew Clarke & Philip Lawn, 2006. "A Response To “Comment On Measuring Victoria'S Genuine Progress: A Genuine Progress Indicator (Gpi) For Victoria”," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 25(3), pages 298-300, 09.
- Amartya Sen, 1999. "The Possibility of Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 349-378, June.
- Sardar M. N. Islam & Matthew F. Clarke, 2005. "The welfare economics of measuring sustainability: a new approach based on social choice theory and systems analysis," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 282-296.
- Clarke, Matthew & Islam, Sardar M. N., 2003. "Measuring social welfare: application of social choice theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-15, March.
- Sardar Islam & Matthew Clarke, 2002. "The Relationship between Economic Development and Social Welfare: A New Adjusted GDP Measure of Welfare," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 201-229, February.
- Eric Neumayer, 1999.
"The ISEW -- not an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare,"
Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement,
Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 77-101, September.
- Eric Neumayer, 1999. "The ISEW: not an index of sustainable economic welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30769, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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.
- Nolan, Peter & Shipman, Alan & Rui, Huaichuan, 2004. "Coal Liquefaction, Shenhua Group, and China's Energy Security," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 150-164, April.
- Clarke, Matthew & Islam, Sardar M.N., 2005. "Diminishing and negative welfare returns of economic growth: an index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for Thailand," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 81-93, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:1-19. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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.