Measuring wealth, delivering prosperity


Wealth Economy Project: Natural and Social Capital
Interim Report to LetterOne

Publisher: Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Published: 25 July 2019
As the consequences of climate change, social tensions and high levels of inequality are increasingly evident, the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge has published its initial report for the Wealth Economy Project on how to improve economic measurement in order to guide effective economic policymaking.
This project is headed by Institute co-director Professor Diane Coyle.
Dimitri Zenghelis | Project Leader
Matthew Agarwala | Research Leader
Marco Felici | Research Assistant
Saite Lu | Research Assistant
Julia Wdowin | Research Assistant

The report recommends focusing on an alternative measurement framework based on the “wealth economy” rather than just GDP: wealth is determined by the access to a range of economic assets people need to fulfil their economic potential and the long-term capacity of the economy to deliver sustainable growth and improving living standards.
The forward-looking element of this new economic framework makes it a better indicator of sustainability in terms of the economy and society as well as the natural environment than annual output or GDP.
This ambitious framework requires measurement of access to six types of economic assets that add up to what is known as comprehensive wealth of the nation.
1.    Physical assets and produced capital, including access to infrastructure and to new technologies
2.    Net financial capital
3.    Natural capital, the resources and services provided by nature
4.    Intangible assets such as intellectual property and data
5.    Human capital, the accumulated skills and the physical and mental health of individuals
6.    Social and institutional capital


  • About the author

    Professor Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy

    Professor Coyle co-directs the Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes.   Learn more

    Diane Coyle 2018
  • About the author

    Dr Matthew Agarwala, Project Leader: The Wealth Economy

    Matthew Agarwala, Economist, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, Cambridge.   Learn more

    Matthew Agarwala
  • About the author

    Marco Felici, Research Assistant

    Marco Felici a Research Assistant for the Six Capitals Programme at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, working in The Wealth Economy project.    Learn more

    Marco Felici
  • About the author

    Dr Saite Lu, Research Associate

    Dr Saite Lu is a Senior Teaching Associate in Development Economics at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge and a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. He is also a Global Future Council Fellow on the New Agenda for Fiscal and ...   Learn more

    Saite Lu
  • About the author

    Dimitri Zenghelis, Special Advisor: The Wealth Economy

    Dimitri Zenghelis is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE where, from 2013-2017, he was Head of Climate Policy. In 2014 he was Acting Chief Economist for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (a.k.a The New Climate Economy). ...   Learn more

    Dimitri Zenghelis