Social Indicators Research

, Volume 141, Issue 1, pp 443–462 | Cite as

Linking Wealth and Productivity of Natural Capital for 140 Countries Between 1990 and 2014

  • Robi Kurniawan
  • Shunsuke ManagiEmail author


This study explores the relationship between inclusive wealth, economic growth, and productivity of natural capital (including forestry, fishery, fossil energy reserves and minerals) for 140 countries between 1990 and 2014. For this objective, a Malmquist productivity index is developed, and regression analysis is performed. The results are threefold. First, we found that natural capital deterioration constituted the main driving force of declining wealth per capita following fossil fuel extraction. Second, the adjustment to a conventional productivity growth measure depends on GDP growth and an endowment growth shift of natural capital relative to other input factors. Third, we also found that the initial phase of GDP growth was accompanied by slower natural capital utilization followed by a phase of deterioration as these countries continue to develop economically. With further economic development, enhanced technology and effective natural resources utilization limit the material basis and result in reduced natural capital extraction. These results imply that natural capital extraction management for a broader income level can be implemented for sustainability in both the short and long term.


Wealth Productivity Natural capital Method of moment 



This paper was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research (26000001) by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution’s and funding agencies.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Ministry of Energy and Mineral ResourcesJakartaIndonesia
  3. 3.Department of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Global Environmental Engineering Program, School of EngineeringKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  4. 4.QUT Business SchoolQueensland University of Technology, Gardens PointBrisbaneAustralia

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