IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v7y2015i4p4146-4182d48005.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Genuine Savings as an Indicator for “Weak” Sustainability: Critical Survey and Possible Ways forward in Practical Measuring

Author

Listed:
  • Adrian Boos

    () (Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, Nußallee 21, 53115 Bonn, Germany)

Abstract

Published by the World Bank (as “Adjusted Net Savings”) for around 160 countries, Genuine Savings (GS) presents the most respected but also the most debated indicator for “weak” sustainability. It originates from the so-called “Hartwick rule” for the re-investment of rents from the depletion of natural in reproducible forms of capital. Coming from the theoretical reasoning behind GS, this paper discusses possible extensions either not yet discussed or underrepresented in current research. Mainly, I suggest a discussion of additional items that could be included in GS and show that both the global average and individual country levels of GS would change immensely by including these recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Boos, 2015. "Genuine Savings as an Indicator for “Weak” Sustainability: Critical Survey and Possible Ways forward in Practical Measuring," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-37, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:4:p:4146-4182:d:48005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/4/4146/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/4/4146/
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-356, May.
    2. Kenneth J. Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "The genuine savings criterion and the value of population," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 217-225, March.
    3. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
    4. World Bank, 2011. "The Changing Wealth of Nations : Measuring Sustainable Development in the New Millennium," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2252.
    5. Hamilton, Kirk, 1996. "Pollution and Pollution Abatement in the National Accounts," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(1), pages 13-33, March.
    6. Ferreira, Susana & Moro, Mirko, 2010. "Constructing Genuine Savings Indicators for Ireland, 1995-2005," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    7. Kirk Hamilton & John Hartwick, 2005. "Investing exhaustible resource rents and the path of consumption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 615-621, May.
    8. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Dasgupta, Partha & Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mumford, Kevin J. & Oleson, Kirsten, 2012. "Sustainability and the measurement of wealth," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 317-353, June.
    9. Ayres, Robert U., 2007. "On the practical limits to substitution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 115-128, February.
    10. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    11. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Papers 281, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    12. Greasley, David & Hanley, Nicholas & Kunnas, Jan & McLaughlin, Eoin & Oxley, Les & Warde, Paul, 2012. "How Environmental Pollution from Fossil Fuels can be included in measures of National Accounts and Estimates of Genuine Savings," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-16, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    13. Sefton, J. A. & Weale, M. R., 1996. "The net national product and exhaustible resources: The effects of foreign trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 21-47, July.
    14. ., 2006. "Sustainable Development," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Development Studies, chapter 123 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric & De Soysa, Indra, 2007. "Corruption, the resource curse and genuine saving," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 33-53, February.
    16. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    17. repec:reg:rpubli:132 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Ferreira, Susana & Vincent, Jeffrey R, 2005. "Genuine Savings: Leading Indicator of Sustainable Development?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 737-754, April.
    19. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6014.
    20. Hartwick, John M., 1978. "Investing returns from depleting renewable resource stocks and intergenerational equity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-88.
    21. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    22. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:01:p:1-26_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Proops, John L. R. & Atkinson, Giles & Schlotheim, Burkhard Frhr. v. & Simon, Sandrine, 1999. "International trade and the sustainability footprint: a practical criterion for its assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 75-97, January.
    24. Hartwick, John M, 1995. "Constant Consumption Paths in Open Eocnomies with Exhaustible Resources," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 275-283, October.
    25. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    26. Pezzey, J.C.V.John C. V., 2004. "One-sided sustainability tests with amenities, and changes in technology, trade and population," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 613-631, July.
    27. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12426.
    28. Hartwick, John M., 1990. "Natural resources, national accounting and economic depreciation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 291-304, December.
    29. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247882.
    30. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-149.
    31. Vincent, Jeffrey R. & Panayotou, Theodore & Hartwick, John M., 1997. "Resource Depletion and Sustainability in Small Open Economies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 274-286, July.
    32. Geir B. Asheim, 1986. "Hartwick's Rule in Open Economies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 395-402, August.
    33. John Hartwick & Ngo Van Long & Huilan Tian, 2003. "On the Peaking of Consumption with Exhaustible Resources and Zero Net Investment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(3), pages 235-244, March.
    34. World Bank, 2014. "World Development Indicators 2014," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18237.
    35. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. 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.
    37. Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
    38. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Valuing Objects and Evaluating Policies in Imperfect Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 1-29, May.
    39. Castaneda, Beatriz E., 1999. "An index of sustainable economic welfare (ISEW) for Chile," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 231-244, February.
    40. 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.
    41. Solow, Robert, 1993. "An almost practical step toward sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-172, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Boos & Karin Holm-Müller, 2016. "The Zambian Resource Curse and its influence on Genuine Savings as an indicator for “weak” sustainable development," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 881-919, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    genuine savings; adjusted net savings; sustainable development; weak sustainability; substitution; physical capital; human capital; natural capital;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:4:p:4146-4182:d:48005. 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: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.