Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 391–405 | Cite as

Natural Capital and Wealth in the 21st Century

  • Edward B. Barbier


Extending the wealth accumulation model of Piketty and Zucman [2014] to include net depreciation in fossil fuels, minerals, and forests produces two key indicators: the net national saving rate adjusted for natural capital depreciation, and the ratio of this rate to long-run growth. These indicators are applied to eight rich economies over 1970–2013 and developing countries for 1979–2013. Whereas in developing economies capital accumulation has largely kept pace with rising natural capital depletion, in the rich countries adjusted net savings have fallen to converge with the rate of natural capital depreciation, suggesting less compensation by net increases in other capital.


capital natural capital national income accounting natural resources wealth 


E01 Q01 



The author wishes to thank Diego Nocetti and three anonymous referees for their comments and Thomas Piketty for helpful discussion and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Eastern Economic Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics & FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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