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How Useful Is the Genuine Savings Rate as a Sustainability Indicator for Regions within Countries? Australia and Queensland Compared

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Abstract

This article shows how macroeconomic indicators of sustainable development can be applied to the Queensland economy. While recognising the complex and contentious theoretical and practical issues in deriving the Genuine Savings Rate (GSR) to serve as such an indicator, we use the World Bank's methodology, which includes only mineral depletion, deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions as environmental terms, to estimate GSRs for Queensland for the period 1989 to 1999, and compare these to World Bank estimates of Australia's GSR for the same period. We find that Queensland has a higher rate of natural resource depletion and a lower GSR than the whole of Australia. We also examine how well the World Bank GSR performs as a ‘headline’ measure of overall sustainability, review criticisms of the GSR, and compare its implicit policy implications with those of net state savings, and of the GSR plus a suite of other indicators.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Economics The University of Queensland

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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