Published on 4 March 2020
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Valuing Wealth, Building Prosperity

Valuing Wealth, Building Prosperity

The Wealth Economy Project on Natural and Social Capital
One Year Report


Zenghelis, D., Agarwala, M., Coyle, D., Felici, M., Lu, S., and J. Wdowin (2020). ‘Valuing Wealth, Building Prosperity.’ Wealth Economy Project first year report to LetterOne.

From the introduction by Diane Coyle

“The 12 months since the launch of the Bennett Institute’s Wealth Economy research programme have brought more progress in terms of our research and its impact on decision makers than we could have foreseen. The fundamental message – that sustained prosperity will depend on stewardship of the whole portfolio of society’s assets, which therefore need to be properly measured and understood – has struck a chord.

During this first year we focused on natural capital, particularly climate, and social capital. In recent years there has been little evidence on the empirical relationships between trust, social capital, and the economy as a whole. We have demonstrated that meaningful measurement of social capital is feasible, and that this helps explain ‘hard’ economic outcomes like productivity growth. We have provided an additional important lens on accounting for CO2 in terms of the damage caused by climate change – so that while for example Australia accounts for just 1.3% of global CO2 production, it is on track to experience between 12 and 24 times more damage from climate change than the world per capita average. These findings and more, from the dynamics of tackling emissions to the financial market consequences, are described in this report.”

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