IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Testing genuine saving


  • Hamilton, Kirk


The World Bank has been publishing estimates of adjusted net or"genuine"saving since 1999. This measure of saving treats depletion of natural resources as a type of economic depreciation. Hamilton uses recent theoretical results relating growth in saving to growth in future consumption to provide a test of genuine saving using historical data. Did measured genuine saving in 1976, for example,"predict"the observed changes in consumption over subsequent decades? The author tests four alternative measures of saving econometrically. The worst measure, in terms of explained variation, is traditional net saving. Genuine saving adjusted to reflect population growth exhibits the worst fit with theory. Both gross saving and genuine saving perform better, with good concordance with theory, while genuine saving exhibits a moderate advantage in terms of goodness of fit.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamilton, Kirk, 2005. "Testing genuine saving," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3577, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3577

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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. 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. Martin L. Weitzman, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-162.
    4. Asheim, Geir B. & Weitzman, Martin L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 233-239, November.
    5. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    6. World Bank, 2002. "World Development Indicators 2002," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13921, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



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

    Cited by:

    1. Ollivier, TO, 2009. "The usefulness of aggregate sustainability indicators for policy making: What do they say for Madagascar?," MPRA Paper 16607, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Alan Randall, 2008. "Is Australia on a sustainability path? Interpreting the clues ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(1), pages 77-95, March.
    3. Gnègnè, Yacouba, 2009. "Adjusted net saving and welfare change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1127-1139, February.
    4. Mota, Rui Pedro & Domingos, Tiago, 2013. "Assessment of the theory of comprehensive national accounting with data for Portugal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 188-196.

    More about this item


    Economic Investment&Savings; Environmental Economics&Policies; Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Contractual Savings;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:wbk:wbrwps:3577. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    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.