Quantifying Sustainability: A New Approach and World Ranking

39 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013

See all articles by Carlo Carraro

Carlo Carraro

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Ca' Foscari University of Venice; CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division); IPCC; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels; Green Growth Knowledge Platform; International Center for Climate Governance

Lorenza Campagnolo

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Fabio Eboli

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici

Elisa Lanzi

Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei (FEEM)

Ramiro Parrado

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici; Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Ca Foscari University of Venice - SMCC Phd

Elisa Portale

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

Date Written: January 15, 2013

Abstract

This paper proposes a new tool to assess sustainability and make the concept of sustainable development operational. It considers its multi-dimensional structure combining the information deriving from a selection of relevant sustainability indicators belonging to economic, social and environmental pillars. It reproduces the dynamics of these indicators over time and countries. Then, it aggregates these indicators using a new approach based on Choquet’s integrals. The main novelties of this approach are indeed: (i) the modelling framework, a recursive-dynamic computable general equilibrium used to calculate the evolution of all indicators over time throughout the world, and (ii) the aggregation methodology to reconcile them in one aggregate index to measure overall sustainability. The former allows capturing the sector and regional interactions and higher-order effects driven by background assumptions on relevant variables to depict future scenarios. The latter makes it possible to compare sustainability performances, under alternative scenarios, across countries and over time. Main results show that the current sustainability at world level differs from what the traditional measure of well-being, the GDP, depicts, highlighting the trade-offs among different components of sustainability. Moreover, in the next decade a slight decrease in world sustainability may occur, in spite of an expected increase in world domestic product. Finally, dedicated policies increase overall sustainability, showing that social and environmental benefits may be greater than the correlated economic costs.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Sustainable Indicators, Computable General Equilibrium, Millennium Development Goals, Climate Change

JEL Classification: Q54, Q56, C68

Suggested Citation

Carraro, Carlo and Campagnolo, Lorenza and Eboli, Fabio and Lanzi, Elisa and Parrado, Ramiro and Portale, Elisa, Quantifying Sustainability: A New Approach and World Ranking (January 15, 2013). FEEM Working Paper No. 94.2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2200903 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2200903

Carlo Carraro

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 8
Venezia, 30124
Italy
+39 04 12700460 (Phone)
+39 04 12700412 (Fax)

Ca' Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy
+39 04 1234 9166 (Phone)
+39 04 1234 9176 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.carlocarraro.org/

CMCC - Euro Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (Climate Policy Division) ( email )

Via Augusto Imperatore 16
Lecce, 73100
Italy
+39 0832 288650 (Phone)
+39 0832 277603 (Fax)

IPCC ( email )

C/O World Meteorological Organization
7bis Avenue de la Paix
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland
+41-22-730-8208/54/84 (Phone)
+41-22-730-8025/13 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels

1 Place du Congres
B-1000 Brussels, 1000
Belgium
+32 2 229 3911 (Phone)
+32 2 219 4151 (Fax)

Green Growth Knowledge Platform ( email )

International Environment House
11-13 chemin des Anemones
Geneva, 1219
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/

International Center for Climate Governance ( email )

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore 8
Venice, I-30124
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.iccgov.org/

Lorenza Campagnolo

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei ( email )

C.so Magenta 63
Milano, 20123
Italy

Fabio Eboli (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Elisa Lanzi

Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Campo S. M. Formosa, Castello 5252
Venezia, 30122
Italy
+39 0412711470 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.feem.it

Ramiro Parrado

CMCC - Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici ( email )

via Augusto Imperatore, 16
Lecce, I-73100
Italy

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore
Venezia, VE 30124
Italy

Ca Foscari University of Venice - SMCC Phd ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
Italy

Elisa Portale

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, Milan 20126
Italy

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