The concept of sustainability has become a serious debate among the economists in past two decades and many theorists have presented their theories / frameworks to describe the importance of this topic. Sustainability is defined as creation of balance between the economic,…
Unfortunately many debates and studies about the measurement of sustainability do not define, or even derive a common understanding, about what is to be measured. Nonetheless, the context of sustainability cannot be separated from its measurement.
In simple words, experts argue that there is need to consider economic, environmental and social indicators to measure sustainability. For example, economic indicators are income level in society, inflation, unemployment, exports / imports statistics, GDP, FDI, Public and Foreign Debt etc. Social indicators may include Suicide rates, people living below poverty line, difference between rich & poor, rate of urbanization, spread of diseases, mortality rates, educational and health spending etc. Environmental factors include carbon emissions and pollution. Together, the evaluation of these aforementioned indicators helps determining the level of sustainability in a particular nation or society.
It should be pinpointed that economists, statisticians and business professionals have developed various quantitative models and tools to estimate economic betterment and real growth rates. Nevertheless, the nominal growth is not considered as true representation of economic sustainability, growth and expansion. Some of the best examples of quantitative methods for measuring sustainability include Liverman and Sustainable Seattle (that ranges from the simple to complex), Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), Moody’s Credit Rating etc. Economists, indeed, claim that a country’s reliance and use of local resources for domestic production (without any violation of environment and business laws) and need fulfillment of local + foreign consumers leads to accumulation of wealth and sustainability in that country. In addition, it reduces dependence on foreign countries, donor agencies and international community, which later enhances its political and economic power, reputation and ...
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