Adjusted net savings and other approaches to sustaibability: some theoretical backgroud
The Stiglitz report on the measurement of economic performance and social progress has been recently released. Part of this report is devoted to the issue of measuring sustainability. One of the sustainability indexes it considers is the concept of adjusted net savings (ANS). Compared to other indexes, it has the advantage of being truly concentrated on measuring sustainability stricto sensu, avoiding a frequent confusion between the measurement of sustainability and the measurement of current well-being. It also relies on an explicit accounting framework, and it includes all potential dimensions of global sustainability: physical and human capital accumulation, as well as changes in quantities or quality of environmental assets. But the major stumbling block is the definition of prices that are needed for valuing these different groups of assets. In a context of notoriously imperfect markets, these prices cannot be observed. They have to be imputed. This paper recalls what are the theoretical requirements for this imputation, and that they are quite strong: what is needed is no less than a full model projecting long term interactions between the economy and the environment. We use this observation as a point of departure for explaining why consensus on sustainability measurement is so difficult to reach, and how this argues in favor of more eclectic approaches mixing the ANS with some complementary indicators focusing on environmental issues.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri 92244 Malakoff Cedex|
Phone: 01 41 17 50 50
Web page: http://www.insee.fr
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2009-10. 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: (D3E)
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.