Genuine Wealth Growth Rates across Canada from 1997 to 2008

By Alexander O. Condon and Panagiotis Tsigaris.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Sustainable development has long been a goal of Canadian governments. However, due to overreliance on traditional indicators such as GDP (gross domestic product), little progress has been made towards its achievement. This paper computes genuine wealth growth rates for Canada and each of its provinces and territories. The growth rate takes into account net investment, including human capital, less the rate of resource depletion and environmental degradation, and adjusts for population growth and technological change. Empirical estimates of genuine wealth for Canada as a whole as well as for each province and territory are presented for the period 1997 - 2009. The empirical evidence shows that the growth rate of per capita genuine wealth is negative for Saskatchewan and Alberta, implying that neither province is achieving sustainable development. For Canada’s policymakers, this should be particularly useful as it illustrates each region’s standing in the various components of genuine wealth, thereby providing information on possible avenues to increase sustainability.

Keywords: Sustainable Growth, Genuine Investment, Depletion of Natural Resources, Environmental Degradation

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.33-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 718.100KB).

Alexander O. Condon

JD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Alexander Condon is a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. His research interests include sustainable development, climate change, and public international law.

Panagiotis Tsigaris

Associate Professor and Chair, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada

Panagiotis Tsigaris is Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. His research interests span the areas of environmental economics, taxation, decisions under risk, and the education of economics.