Alternative Indicators to GDP: Values behind Numbers. Adjusted Net Savings in Question
After sixty years of predominance in the western countries, both the objective of economic growth and its core measure, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), have been questioned. It no longer seems consistent to maintain growth as a societal goal and to keep GDP as the major reference for socioeconomic policies. Numerous alternative indicators have been suggested. These new indicators potentially constitute a great opportunity for change: it is now broadly accepted that what we measure affects what we do. We go a step further, claiming that the way we measure it is just as crucial: indicators intrinsically carry axiological and normative conceptions, embedded in the specific way they are built. As indicators are increasingly being used for shaping political ends, light should be shed on these underlying conceptions. Our analysis of the Adjusted Net Savings (ANS, the sustainability indicator proposed by the World Bank) attempts to illustrate these normative underpinning, often obscured by technical concerns around the numbers. By systematically deconstructing the ANS, from its conceptual framework to its sub-dimensions, we shed light on the singular and debatable conception of ‘sustainability’ (in its human and ecological aspects) encompassed in the ANS. This exercise aims to provide an insight into the societal values embedded in such indicators, which can strongly influence decision-making.
|Date of creation:||12 May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)|
Fax: +32 10473945
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/ires
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2010.
"Why do many resource-rich countries have negative genuine saving?: Anticipation of better times or rapacious rent seeking,"
Resource and Energy Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 28-44, January.
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2008. "Why Do Many Resource-Rich Countries Have Negative Genuine Saving? Anticipation of Better Times or Rapacious Rent Seeking," CEPR Discussion Papers 7021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Karl-Göran Mäler, 1991. "National accounts and environmental resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, March.
- Giles Atkinson & Kirk Hamilton, 2007. "Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 43-61, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010018. 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: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.