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Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving

Atkinson, Giles and Hamilton, Kirk (2007) Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving. Environmental and Resource Economics, 37 (1). pp. 43-61. ISSN 0924-6460

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10640-007-9114-7


More than 10 years since a practical linkage between sustainable development and a measure of national wealth—expanded to include natural and environmental resources— was first posited, the empirical estimation of adjusted net savings, dubbed ‘genuine’ saving, has evolved considerably. In this paper we take stock of both progress achieved and the challenges that remain. We begin by recalling the key points made in Pearce and Atkinson (1993, Ecol Econ 8, 103), which presented the first cross-country estimates of savings rates adjusted to reflect depletion and degradation of the environment.We then briefly summarise the evolution of the theoretical argument linking savings and sustainability. However, the main focus of this paper is an aspect that concerned David Pearce greatly, namely the evolution of the measurement of genuine savings.We identify and consider the empirical evidence with regard to two particular measurement issues: the valuation of exhaustible resources and environmental degradation. Common to the both issues are concerns about measuring changes in national wealth in real world economies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Springer
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2012 14:51

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