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Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving

  • Giles Atkinson

    ()

  • Kirk Hamilton
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    More than 10 years since a practical linkage between sustainable development and a measure of national wealth—expanded to include natural and environmental resources—was first posited, the empirical estimation of adjusted net savings, dubbed ‘genuine’ saving, has evolved considerably. In this paper we take stock of both progress achieved and the challenges that remain. We begin by recalling the key points made in Pearce and Atkinson (1993, Ecol Econ 8, 103), which presented the first cross-country estimates of savings rates adjusted to reflect depletion and degradation of the environment. We then briefly summarise the evolution of the theoretical argument linking savings and sustainability. However, the main focus of this paper is an aspect that concerned David Pearce greatly, namely the evolution of the measurement of genuine savings. We identify and consider the empirical evidence with regard to two particular measurement issues: the valuation of exhaustible resources and environmental degradation. Common to the both issues are concerns about measuring changes in national wealth in real world economies. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-007-9114-7
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    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 43-61

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:1:p:43-61
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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    1. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2007. "Harvesting in an integrated general equilibrium model," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 233-252, May.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12426 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
    5. Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
    6. World Bank, 2005. "World Development Indicators 2005," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 12425, March.
    7. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Resource depletion and economic sustainability in Malaysia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 19-37, February.
    8. Karl-Göran Mäler, 1991. "National accounts and environmental resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, March.
    9. 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 737-54, April.
    10. John C. V. Pezzey & Nick Hanley & Nick Hanley & Karen Turner & Dugald Tinch, 2003. "Augmented Sustainability Measures for Scotland," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0302, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
    11. 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.
    12. Asheim,G.B. & Weitzman,M.L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Memorandum 02/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    13. Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Davis, Graham A. & Moore, David J., 2000. "Valuing mineral stocks and depletion in green national income accounts," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 109-127, February.
    16. Hamilton, Kirk & Atkinson, Giles, 1996. "Air pollution and green accounts," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 675-684, July.
    17. Stephen Smith & Joseph Swierzbinski, 2007. "Assessing the performance of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 131-158, May.
    18. Kirk Hamilton & Cees Withagen, 2007. "Savings growth and the path of utility," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 703-713, May.
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