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National Wealth: What is Missing, Why it Matters


  • Hamilton, Kirk
    (Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Emeritus Lead Economist in the Development Research Group of The World Bank)

  • Hepburn, Cameron
    (Director, Economics of Sustainability Programme, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Oxford Martin School; Professor of Environmental Economics, Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford; Fellow, New College, University of Oxford)


Why are some nations wealthy and others poor? How did the wealthy nations become rich? What are the components of wealth? How should nations manage their wealth for the future? These are among the most important questions in economics. They are also impossible to answer without defining wealth, and understanding how it can be created, destroyed, stored, and managed. National Wealth: What is Missing, Why it Matters assembles a collection of high-quality contributions to define the key concepts and address the economic and policy issues around national wealth. It considers insights from economic history, addresses the impacts of the changes to national accounting, and teases out the policy implications for both rich and poor countries and the institutions within them. Using expert analysis and theory backed by empirical work, this book evaluates the progress that has been made in measuring national wealth, as well as the recent developments in theory and practice which tell us that the change in real wealth (net saving) is an essential indicator of economic progress. Net national saving, measured comprehensively and adjusted to reflect the investment in and the depreciation of the full range of assets measured in national wealth, is an indicator of the change in future wellbeing. Governments can use this measure to answer a fundamental question: How much does the stream of future wellbeing of the population rise or fall as a result of policy actions today? The book is organized into four parts. Part one provides the political context and defines the key concepts. Part two examines the history of wealth creation and destruction. Part three provides a more detailed analysis of the individual components of wealth, and finally, part four examines the lessons for managing wealth for sustainable national prosperity. Contributors to this volume - Diane Coyle- University of Manchester Matthias Blum- Queen's University Management School, Queen's University Belfast Frank Cowell- London School of Economics Cristian Ducoing- Department of Geography and Economic History, Umea Universitet David Greasley- University of Edinburgh Havard Halland- World Bank Group Kirk Hamilton- London School of Economics and Political Science Nick Hanley- University of Stirling John Hartwick- Queen's University John F. Helliwell- University of British Columbia Dieter Helm- University of Oxford Cameron Hepburn- University of Oxford Michael Klein- Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Jan Kunnas- KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Gang Liu- Statistics Norway Colin Mayer- Said Business School, University of Oxford Mariana Mazzucato- Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Eoin McLaughlin- Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews Brian Nolan- University of Oxford Carl Obst- Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne; Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting Javier Olivera- Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, KU Leuven, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru Rolando Ossowski- International Monetary Fund's Fiscal Affairs Department Les Oxley- University of Waikato Rick van der Ploeg- University of Oxford Philippe Van Kerm- Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research Michael Vardon- Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Paul Warde- University of East Anglia Martin L. Weitzman- Harvard University Edward N.Wolff- New York University Michael Woolcock- World Bank Claudia Senik- Paris School of Economics Dimitri Zenghelis- London School of Economics

Suggested Citation

  • Hamilton, Kirk & Hepburn, Cameron (ed.), 2017. "National Wealth: What is Missing, Why it Matters," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198803720.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198803720

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