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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-27) World BankIt is now clear that a narrow focus on the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) is insufficient to achieve humanity’s aspirations for sustainable prosperity. Wellfunctioning ecosystems and educated populations are requisites for sustainable wellbeing. These and other too-often-neglected ingredients of national wealth must be addressed if the development path is to be sustainable. The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021: Managing Assets for the Future provides the most comprehensive accounting of the wealth of nations, an in-depth analysis of the evolution of wealth, and pathways to build wealth for the future. This report—and the accompanying global database—firmly establishes comprehensive wealth as a measure of sustainability and a key component of country analytics. It expands the coverage of wealth accounts and improves our understanding of the quality of all assets, notably, natural capital. Wealth—the stock of produced, natural, and human capital—is measured as the sum of assets that yield a stream of benefits over time. Changes in the wealth of nations matter because they reflect the change in countries’ assets that underpin future income. Countries regularly track GDP as an indicator of their economic progress, but not wealth, and national wealth has a more direct and long-term impact on people’s lives. This report provides a new set of tools and analysis to help policy makers navigate risks and to guide collective action. Wealth accounts can be applied in macroeconomic analysis to areas of major policy concern such as climate change and natural resource management. This report can be used to look beyond GDP, to gauge nations’ economic well-being, and to promote sustainable prosperity.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-01-30) Lange, Glenn-Marie ; Wodon, Quentin ; Carey, Kevin ; Lange, Glenn-Marie ; Wodon, Quentin ; Carey, KevinCountries regularly track gross domestic product (GDP) as an indicator of their economic progress, but not wealth—the assets such as infrastructure, forests, minerals, and human capital that produce GDP. In contrast, corporations routinely report on both their income and assets to assess their economic health and prospects for the future. Wealth accounts allow countries to take stock of their assets to monitor the sustainability of development, an urgent concern today for all countries. The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future covers national wealth for 141 countries over 20 years (1995–2014) as the sum of produced capital, 19 types of natural capital, net foreign assets, and human capital overall as well as by gender and type of employment. Great progress has been made in estimating wealth since the fi rst volume, Where Is the Wealth of Nations? Measuring Capital for the 21st Century, was published in 2006. New data substantially improve estimates of natural capital, and, for the first time, human capital is measured by using household surveys to estimate lifetime earnings. The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 begins with a review of global and regional trends in wealth over the past two decades and provides examples of how wealth accounts can be used for the analysis of development patterns. Several chapters discuss the new work on human capital and its application in development policy. The book then tackles elements of natural capital that are not yet fully incorporated in the wealth accounts: air pollution, marine fisheries, and ecosystems. This book targets policy makers but will engage anyone committed to building a sustainable future for the planet.
Publication(World Bank, 2011) World BankThis book is about development and measuring development progress. While precise definitions may vary, development is, at heart, a process of building wealth, the produced, natural, human, and institutional capital which is the source of income and wellbeing. A key finding is that it is intangible wealth, human and institutional capital, which dominates the wealth of all countries, rising as a share of the total as countries climb the development ladder. The book is divided into two parts. The first part provides the big picture of changes in wealth by income group and geographic region, with a focus on natural capital because it is especially important for low-income developing countries. The second part presents case studies that illustrate particular aspects of wealth accounting, including accounting for climate change, the role of intangible capital in growth and development, measuring human capital, and the use of wealth accounting to improve transparency and governance in resource-rich economies. The final chapter reports on the implementation of wealth accounting by countries. The appendixes provide the full wealth accounts for individual countries and for aggregations by income group and geographic region.