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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.
 
WEALTH ECONOMY RESEARCH TEAM
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

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  • About the author

    Professor Diane Coyle, Inaugural Bennett Professor of Public Policy

    Professor Coyle co-directs the Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research in the fields of public policy economics, technology, industrial strategy and global inequality.   Learn more

    Diane Coyle 2018
  • About the author

    Dimitri Zenghelis, Project Leader: 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
  • About the author

    Matthew Agarwala, Research Leader: The Wealth Economy

    Matthew Agarwala is an environmental economist interested in wealth-based approaches to measuring and delivering sustainable development. The pace of globalisation, innovation, and social, environmental, and economic upheaval leaves no doubt: 20th century statistics can’t capture 21st century progress. Matthew joined the Bennett Institute’s wealth economy ...   Learn more

    Matthew Agarwala
  • About the author

    Julia Wdowin, Research Assistant

    Julia Wdowin is a Research Assistant at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. She works with Professor Diane Coyle on the 'Well-being, progress and public policy' programme. Julia's research will look at how prosperity can be achieved with human, social and natural goods and how ...   Learn more

    Julia Wdowin
  • About the author

    Saite Lu, Research Assistant

    Saite Lu is a Research Assistant for the Six Capitals Programme at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, working in The Wealth Economy project. He is also a fourth year PhD candidate at the Centre of Development Studies. His thesis focuses on the linkages among global ...   Learn more

    Saite Lu
  • 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