Social Indicators Research

, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 365–389 | Cite as

Measuring Regional Wealth and Assessing Sustainable Development: An Application to a Disaster-Torn Region in Japan

  • Rintaro YamaguchiEmail author
  • Masayuki Sato
  • Kazuhiro Ueta


We construct a regional comprehensive wealth as an indicator of sustainability in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Of particular interest is the change in wealth before and after a natural disaster, since the index could serve as a benchmark of investment into post-disaster reconstruction. We first discuss an optimum spatial unit of wealth accounting and sustainability analysis. The resultant regional wealth index had already been slightly declining during the 2000s due to stagnant investment into capital assets, oil capital loss, and budget deficit burden, until a natural disaster made the region significantly unsustainable. This wealth trend also differs from what emerges from the figures in Inclusive Wealth Report 2012. Including population decrease makes the wealth per capita look better, whose interpretation warrants caution due to the neglected forward-looking demographic change in a developed nation.


Inclusive wealth Sustainable development Genuine savings Disaster reconstruction Population change 

JEL Classification

E01 J1 O1 



The authors appreciate beneficial comments from (many) anonymous referees, Federico Castillo, Masaaki Kuboniwa, Shunsuke Managi, Anil Markandya, Alistair Munro, Ayumi Onuma, Itsuo Sakuma, Michinori Uwasu, participants of workshops/sessions at Kyoto, Senshu, SEEPS 2013 (Kobe, Japan), EAAERE 2014 (Busan, South Korea), 17th International Economic Association World Congress (Dead Sea, Jordan), and the 5th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists (Istanbul, Turkey). Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research (26000001) by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), as well as Social Scientific Survey of Great East Japan Earthquake by JSPS, are also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EconomicsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Human Development and EnvironmentKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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