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Sustainable Nations: What do Aggregate Indicators tell us?

J. Ram Pillarisetti () and Jeroen van den Bergh
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J. Ram Pillarisetti: University of Brunei Darussalam

No 08-012/3, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: This discussion paper resulted in a publication in Environment, Development and Sustainability , 2010, 12(1), 49-62. What is a 'sustainable nation’ and how can we identify and rank ‘sustainable nations’? Are nations producing and consuming in a sustainable way? Aggregate indicators have been proposed to answer these questions. This paper quantitatively compares three aggregate indicators of sustainability: the World Bank’s ‘Genuine Savings’ measure, the ‘Ecological Footprint’ and the ‘Environmental Sustainability Index’. It is concluded that rankings of sustainable nations vary significantly among these indicators. Implications of this disagreement for analysis and policy are suggested.

Keywords: Adjusted Net Savings; Ecological Debt; Ecological Footprint; Environmental Sustainability Index; Genuine Savings; Sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 Q2 Q28 F0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-01-24
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