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Beyond GDPMeasuring Welfare and Assessing Sustainability$
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Marc Fleurbaey and Didier Blanchet

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199767199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199767199.001.0001

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Measuring Sustainability

Measuring Sustainability

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter 2 Measuring Sustainability
Source:
Beyond GDP
Author(s):

Marc Fleurbaey

Didier Blanchet

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199767199.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the specific issue of sustainability. It first discusses the shortcomings of approaches in terms of either intertemporal or sustainable well-being. It considers the way the intertemporal dimension of well-being comes up in the assessment of individual well-being, how it suggests measuring well-being in terms of global wealth, and how concepts of sustainable consumption or well-being derive from this idea. Notions such as net domestic product (NDP) or green GDP are economy-wide counterparts of these concepts. The chapter examines why such an approach raises more problems than expected, arguing in favor of measuring sustainability separately. It then focuses on the second divide, that is, between monetary and nonmonetary approaches. It explores approaches that have the potential advantage of subsuming the weak/strong opposition. This confirms that monetary approaches are not by construction unable to capture the strong view of sustainability. However, the very theoretical nature of all that can be proposed for fully adequate sustainability indexes is emphasized.

Keywords:   sustainable well-being, intertemporal well-being, monetary approaches, net domestic product

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