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Linking Sustainable Development Assessment in Ireland and the European Union with Economic Theory

Luke McGrath, Stephen Hynes and John McHale ()

No 309508, Working Papers from National University of Ireland, Galway, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit

Abstract: Economists offer what is arguably the most internally consistent framework for sustainable development assessment, the so-called “capital approach”. To operationalise the capital approach measures of the changes in comprehensive national wealth (Genuine Savings) are required. In this paper, we present estimates of Ireland’s Genuine Savings using the updated public spending code for direction and compare our results with existing estimates in the literature. For practical sustainability assessment, no single indicator is capable of providing an all-encompassing answer, but as we demonstrate, the current monitoring of sustainable development in Ireland and across the EU lacks coherence. We suggest potential paths forward for sustainability policy and assessment that preserve the link with economic theory. We show that regardless of the viewpoint taken on sustainability the capital approach can provide guidance for a coherent assessment framework.

Keywords: Environmental; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec and nep-env
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:semrui:309508

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.309508

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