Is Economic Growth Sustainable? Conflicting Signals from International Organisations

Kerstins Rum Session 4: Historical national accounts organized by Svante Prado and Kerstin Enflo (session moved to Stora Salen)


Cristián Ducoing, Eoin McLaughlin and Nick Hanley


s GDP, a 20th century construct, is aging and misleading for societal challenges of the 21th century, an increasing number of indicators have been proposed to replace the little big number. One proposal is to focus more on a country’s balance sheet and place greater emphasis on wealth rather than income as a measure of (sustainable) development. Comprehensive wealth indicators, the fruit of labour of scattered group of scholars since the 1990s, have been published through reports by the World Bank and the United Nations in the recent past. Despite sharing similar conceptual frameworks, the application of wealth concepts by the two transnational organisations leads to conflicting signals of sustainability. In this article, we confirm the need for further explanation expand the relationship between the indicators and outline the benefit of combining studies in historical and regional perspective.


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