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Weak support for weak sustainability: genuine savings and long-term wellbeing in Sweden, 1850–2000
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE).
Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden.
Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 145, p. 339-345Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study genuine savings as an indicator of long-term welfare for Sweden for the period 1850 to 2000. Sweden has developed long series of comprehensive ‘green’ national accounts for this entire period and is, therefore, interesting as a testing ground for the hypotheses linking green accounting and sustainability. We find support for the weakest of the hypotheses in the theoretical literature on weak sustainability and genuine savings, namely that genuine savings are correlated with future economic well-being. However, the stronger hypotheses in this literature are not supported: there is no one-to-one relationship between genuine savings and prosperity, there is no indication that the relationship becomes stronger for longer time horizons, or with more comprehensive savings measures. The findings suggest that genuine savings, at least as currently measured in national accounts and satellite accounts, may not be a good forward-looking indicator of future prosperity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 145, p. 339-345
Keywords [en]
Genuine savings, Green national accounting, Weak sustainability, national accounts, Sweden
National Category
Economics Economic History
Research subject
Economics; Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143176DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.11.015ISI: 000424316700029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143176DiVA, id: diva2:1167443
Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-12-18 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Lindmark, Magnus

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
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