IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Application and use of the ISEW for assessing the sustainability of a regional system: A case study in Italy

  • Pulselli, Federico M.
  • Bravi, Mirko
  • Tiezzi, Enzo
Registered author(s):

    The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) was introduced by Daly and Cobb in 1989 in order to integrate the information embodied in GDP. Since economic growth implies externalities and market failures, and a portion of it can be defined as “uneconomic”, the ISEW method introduces some corrections and adjustments to the GDP calculation framework. The ISEW has been calculated for a number of nations but it has been rarely applied to sub-national systems. Its calculation at the local level is important especially in case of administrative decentralization, and autonomy and responsibility of local authorities in certain fields. For this reason, a more and more comprehensive knowledge of the characteristics and peculiarities of the territorial system they manage is necessary. This paper presents the results of the ISEW calculation for Tuscany, a region in central Italy, in the period 1971–2006. This is one of the few attempts to apply the ISEW in time series at the regional level. Final results show that a discrepancy between ISEW and GDP appeared in the 1970s. Social and environmental pressures increased during the period under study making the gap equal to about 30 percent of regional GDP in 2006. The ISEW can be used also as a tool for evaluating policies, but further adjustments in calculation of certain items are considered necessary for taking into account and evaluating punctual policies. A case of energy policy is presented.

    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.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268111000333
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 766-778

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:3:p:766-778
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. 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.
    2. Hamilton, Clive, 1999. "The genuine progress indicator methodological developments and results from Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 13-28, July.
    3. Eric Neumayer, 1999. "The ISEW -- not an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 77-101, September.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:env:journl:ev16:ev1603 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Max-Neef, Manfred, 1995. "Economic growth and quality of life: a threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 115-118, November.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Giuseppe Munda, 2005. "“Measuring Sustainability”: A Multi-Criterion Framework," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 117-134, 01.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:3:p:766-778. 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.