IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Measuring the immeasurable: a survey of substainability indices

  • Böhringer, Christoph
  • Jochem, Patrick

Sustainability indices for countries provide a one-dimensional metric to valuate country-specific information on the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, environmental, and social conditions. At the policy level, they suggest an unambiguous yardstick against which a country?s development can be measured and even a cross-country comparison can be performed. This paper reviews the explanatory power of various sustainability indices applied in policy practice. We show that these indices fail to fulfill fundamental scientific requirements making them rather useless if not misleading with respect to policy advice.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-73.

in new window

Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5466
Contact details of provider: Postal: L 7,1; D - 68161 Mannheim
Phone: +49/621/1235-01
Fax: +49/621/1235-224
Web page:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
  2. Geir Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz & Cees Withagen, 2003. "The Hartwick Rule: Myths and Facts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(2), pages 129-150, June.
  3. Ebert, Udo & Welsch, Heinz, 2004. "Meaningful environmental indices: a social choice approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 270-283, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5466. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.