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Séminaire REEDS - mardi 4 juin de 14h00 à 16h00 à Rambouillet



For emerging countries, making economic growth and development compatible with stabilizing the climate and with a sustainable
environmental footprint will require a drastic shift towards clean development and green, low-carbon economies. This will require a great transformation of activities as far reaching as the transformation brought about by the Industrial Revolution. The rationale for green growth and clean development has mostly been presented as a win-win situation for the environment and for economic development. In this respect, genuine savings is generally used as an indicator of sustainability (Pearce and Atkinson, 1993; Hamilton and Clemens, 1999). It is designed to capture whether a nation is operating sustainably or not. However this interpretation remains debatable (Lawn, 2003, 2004). It is true that the concept of genuine savings expresses the capacity for an economy to invest in the various capital goods of which it lays out
and assesses the opportunity of preserving a certain level of consumption per capita in the long run. Nevertheless, the mere observation of a positive rate of genuine savings does not necessarily guarantee this opportunity. These difficulties of interpretation are partly related to the basically static nature of the indicator. They also bear on both the value and the sign of the genuine savings (D’Autume & Schubert, 2008). This interpretation must take account of the situation of the economy at a given moment of the time and along a given growth path. Indeed,
one must wonder about the trajectory of the genuine saving in a context of convergence, of transition towards the long run potential green growth path. This interpretation must also consider the way in which expenses associated with the various capital goods are defined in the national accounts. Some of the expenditures which are related to environmental policy are treated as non productive expenditures. In this context, the choices which are carried out as regards to public policy influences necessarily the division of the national income between consumption and investment and, by the same occasion, the valorization of the various components of the capital assets portfolio of an economy.
We’ll discuss the dynamic behavior of the genuine savings rate for emerging nations.

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