By World Bank
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Additional resources for Expanding the measure of wealth: indicators of environmentally sustainable development
This report was produced by the Indicators and Environmental Valuation Unit. It is appropriately subtitled Indicators of Environmentally Sustainable Development because it highlights "portfolio" indicators for tracking a country's progress toward sustainable development. These include new estimates of national wealth and genuine savings, a detailed analysis of changes in subsidies with environmental consequences, and progress on the conceptual foundations of social capital. While many of these new estimates are more refined than those presented in 1995, the underlying story remains the same.
The indicator chosen to explore this is genuine savingthe true rate of saving of a nation after accounting Page 2 for the depreciation of produced assets, the depletion of natural resources, investments in human capital, and the value of global damages from carbon emissions. Negative rates of genuine saving must lead, eventually, to declining well-being. The analysis shows that many of the most resource-dependent countries do have low or negative rates of genuine saving and that the value of pollution damages may be large in rapidly urbanizing and industrializing countries.
Chapter 6 explores the difficult to quantify concept of social capital, the extra element that defines how individuals and societies interact, organize themselves, and share responsibilities and rewards. It is now recognized that social capital is a critical explanatory variable in explaining the success of certain countries and the lack of progress of others. Although there are a number of definitions of social capital available, and a variety of indicators are proposed that can be used to identify and track changes in social capital over time, we unfortunately know less about how it is created and how to invest in its development.
Expanding the measure of wealth: indicators of environmentally sustainable development by World Bank