The importance of metrics in assessing the sustainability of the development path a national economy is now well established. In popular debate, this policy agenda is perhaps best summed up under the broad heading of “Beyond GDP”. This builds (as the name implies) on the insight that conventional summary measures of economic progress provide a potentially misleading picture about development, especially by neglecting what is happening to national wealth. It also reflects concerns that more detailed metrics, such as environmental indicators, need to be better connected to policy levers. The current project proposal seeks to contribute to both aspects of this debate.
Specifically, it will do so by deepening the evidence base in Kuwait via two interrelated activities: (a) construct a wealth (and natural capital) account for Kuwait including a thorough country level inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and (b) develop an economy-wide model which can be used to simulate interactions between economy-environment-society interactions. The first of these activities not only establishes an evidence base but also permits economic insights to be gleaned about the sustainability of development. The second allows policy scenarios, such as those designed to improve prospects for sustainability, to be evaluated and so connects a static activity such as wealth accounting to dynamic modelling of policy actions. In pursuing these aims, the proposed project will build on two ongoing and KFAS funded projects currently being implemented with the Economic Public Policy program of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.
Giles is Professor of Environmental Policy in the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE.
Ayele is a Research Economist in the Economics Division at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.