Measuring wealth, delivering prosperity

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

Initial report by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge for the Wealth Economy Project on how to improve economic measurement in order to guide effective economic policymaking.

Abstract

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

Research team

Diane Coyle – Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Dimitri Zenghelis – Project Leader
Matthew Agarwala – Research Leader
Marco Felici – Research Assistant
Julia Wdowin – Research Assistant
Saite Lu – Research Assistant

External link to report