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Measuring sustainable development: Some empirical evidence for France from eight alternative indicators

  • Nourry, Myriam

This paper presents results from a time-series analysis of eight measures of development and/or sustainability for France. The measures chosen are green national net product, Genuine Savings, ecological footprint, Indicator of Sustainable Economic Welfare, Genuine Progress Indicator, Pollution-sensitive Human Development Indicator, Sustainable Human Development Indicator and French Dashboard on Sustainable Development. A theoretical description of each index highlights their advantages and drawbacks, underlining the fact that no indicator is perfect and no one can give an exhaustive view of sustainable development. Therefore, the analysis of various indicators is necessary to evaluate sustainable development with accuracy. Empirical results of measures of well-being show that French development was improving between 1990 and 2000. Concerning sustainability, indicators support different conclusions. It seems that French development was weakly sustainable but unsustainable in the strong sense over the period examined.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 441-456

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:441-456
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Valeria Costantini & Salvatore Monni, 2005. "Sustainable Human Development for European Countries," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 329-351.
  2. Eric Neumayer, 2000. "Resource Accounting in Measures of Unsustainability: Challenging the World Bank's Conclusions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(3), pages 257-278, March.
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  7. M.C. de la Vega & A.M. Urrutia, 2001. "HDPI: A Framework for Pollution-Sensitive Human Development Indicators," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 199-215, September.
  8. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
  9. John M. Hartwick, 1990. "Natural Resources, National Accounting and Economic Depreciation," Working Papers 771, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-56, May.
  13. Srinivasan, T N, 1994. "Human Development: A New Paradigm or Reinvention of the Wheel?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 238-43, May.
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  15. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
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