The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future

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January 2018
Glenn-Marie Lange, Quentin Wodon, Kevin Carey
World Bank Group

The book The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018: Building a Sustainable Future covers national wealth for 141 countries over 20 years (1995–2014) as the sum of produced capital, 19 types of natural capital, net foreign assets, and human capital overall as well as by gender and type of employment.

Great progress has been made in estimating wealth since the first volume, Where Is the Wealth of Nations? Measuring Capital for the 21st Century, was published in 2006. New data substantially improve estimates of natural capital, and, for the first time, human capital is measured by using household surveys to estimate lifetime earnings.

The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 begins with a review of global and regional trends in wealth over the past two decades and provides examples of how wealth accounts can be used for the analysis of development patterns. Several chapters discuss the new work on human capital and its application in development policy. The book then tackles elements of natural capital that are not yet fully incorporated in the wealth accounts: air pollution, marine fisheries, and ecosystems. This book targets policy makers but will engage anyone committed to building a sustainable future for the planet.

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