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A summary of ISEW and GPI studies at multiple scales and new estimates for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland

  • Posner, Stephen M.
  • Costanza, Robert
Registered author(s):

    This paper (1) summarizes a number of previous Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) and Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) studies at various scales; (2) estimates the GPI for Baltimore, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland; and (3) compares these results with previous and parallel studies. GPI incorporates environmental, social, and economic information into a single metric to represent economic well-being. At all three scales, GPI was found to grow at a slower rate than the conventional economic measure of gross domestic product (GDP), while at the US national scale GPI has been relatively flat since 1975. State-level results match an independently calculated Maryland GPI, confirming that GPI methods are robust and reproducible. In addition, the State of Maryland has recently made GPI one of their official State statistics, reported annually. State-level GPI results were also compared with studies for the states of Ohio and Vermont to explore regional differences. We recommend that the GPI research community develop consensus on a standardized measurement approach and seek common ground for advancing the use of improved indicators and accounting systems in official policy settings.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911001935
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 11 (September)
    Pages: 1972-1980

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:1972-1980
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. England, Richard W., 1998. "Measurement of social well-being: alternatives to gross domestic product," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 89-103, April.
    2. 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.
    3. William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Castaneda, Beatriz E., 1999. "An index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for Chile," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 231-244, February.
    5. Stockhammer, Engelbert & Hochreiter, Harald & Obermayr, Bernhard & Steiner, Klaus, 1997. "The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) as an alternative to GDP in measuring economic welfare. The results of the Austrian (revised) ISEW calculation 1955-1992," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 19-34, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Wen, Zongguo & Zhang, Kunmin & Du, Bin & Li, Yadong & Li, Wei, 2007. "Case study on the use of genuine progress indicator to measure urban economic welfare in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 463-475, August.
    8. Nourry, Myriam, 2008. "Measuring sustainable development: Some empirical evidence for France from eight alternative indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 441-456, October.
    9. Pulselli, Federico Maria & Ciampalini, Francesca & Tiezzi, Enzo & Zappia, Carlo, 2006. "The index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for a local authority: A case study in Italy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 271-281, November.
    10. Hanley, Nick & Moffatt, Ian & Faichney, Robin & Wilson, Mike, 1999. "Measuring sustainability: A time series of alternative indicators for Scotland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 55-73, January.
    11. Hamilton, Clive, 1999. "The genuine progress indicator methodological developments and results from Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 13-28, July.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Bleys, Brent, 2008. "Proposed changes to the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare: An application to Belgium," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 741-751, February.
    15. Max-Neef, Manfred, 1995. "Economic growth and quality of life: a threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-118, November.
    16. 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.
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