Global wealth has grown overall—but at the expense of future prosperity and by exacerbating inequalities, according to the World Bank’s new Changing Wealth of Nations report released on October 27, 2021.
Countries that are depleting their resources in favor of short-term gains are putting their economies on an unsustainable development path. While indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are traditionally used to measure economic growth, the report argues for the importance of considering natural, human, and produced capital to understand whether growth is sustainable.
The Changing Wealth of Nations 2021 tracks the wealth of 146 countries between 1995 and 2018, by measuring the economic value of renewable natural capital (such as forests, cropland, and ocean resources), nonrenewable natural capital (such as minerals and fossil fuels), human capital (earnings over a person’s lifetime), produced capital (such as buildings and infrastructure), and net foreign assets. The report accounts for blue natural capital—in the form of mangroves and ocean fisheries—for the first time.
At this seminar, James Cust, Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region, Grzegorz Peszko, Lead Economist in the Global Platforms team of the Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy Practice Group, World Bank, and Stefanie Onder, Senior Environment Economist, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice, World Bank, presented the main points of the report.
8am-9am, Friday December 17, 2021 (Japan Standard Time)
Senior Economist, Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region, World Bank
Jim is an Economist and Young Professional working in the Office of the Chief Economist, Africa Region at the World Bank. Prior to this position, he was the Director of Research and Data at the Natural Resource Governance Institute and helped create the Natural Resource Charter, where he served as Acting Director.
Jim’s research addresses policy-relevant empirical questions on the role of government in harnessing resources for prosperity. He has recently completed work on Institutions and the Location of Oil Exploration, on Stranded Nations examining the intersection of climate policy and resource wealth, and on Investing in Africa’s Infrastructure, as well as studies on local impacts of resource wealth and challenges to diversification.
Jim holds a DPhil (PhD) in Economics from the University of Oxford, an MSc from Oxford and a BA from Cambridge. He is an external research associate of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies at the Department of Economics in Oxford.
Lead Economist in the Global Platforms team of the Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy Practice Group, World Bank
Grzegorz Peszko is a Lead Economist in the Global Platforms team of the Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy Practice Group of the World Bank where he leads analytical and advisory services on economics of climate change mitigation, plastic pollution prevention, air pollution, Changing Wealth of Nations, as well as macro-economic and fiscal aspects of sustainability.
Senior Environment Economist, Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice, World Bank
Stefanie Onder is a Senior Environmental Economist in the Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice. She has worked for the ENB teams in South Asia and the East Asia and Pacific region, as well as for the World Bank’s global unit. Her work covered both lending operations as well as technical assistance, focusing on key development issues in natural resource management with an emphasis on natural capital accounting, livelihoods of the natural resource-dependent poor as well as climate mitigation and adaptation. She also worked as an Assistant Professor at the School of International Service of American University, where she has developed a broad research agenda in development and environmental economics and, more recently, the economics of forced displacement. She holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.
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