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Wealth, Structure and Functioning of Modern Economies

  • Edward B. Barbier
Chapter

Abstract

In the previous two chapters, we learned that the economic wealth of a nation comprises three distinct assets: manufactured, or reproducible, capital, such as roads, buildings, machinery and factories; human capital, such as the skills, education and health embodied in the workforce; and natural capital, including land, forests, fossil fuels and minerals and ecosystems that provide valuable goods and services. However, the total or national wealth of an economy also includes the accumulation of sizable financial assets, such as monetary metals and currency, bank accounts, government bonds, corporate bonds and stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, pension funds, trade credit, and foreign-owned assets (see Figure 1.1).

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Edward B. Barbier (2005) Natural Resources and Economic Development. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, chapter 1 and appendix 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See, for example, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II (2014) Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Philadelphia: Saunders. Available at: www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    G. McGranahan, D. Balk, D. and B. Anderson (2007) “The Rising Tide: Assessing the Risks of Climate Change and Human Settlements in Low Elevation Coastal Zones”, Environment and Urbanization, 19(1): 17–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    R. J. Nicholls, et al. (2007) Ranking of the World’s Cities Most Exposed to Coastal Flooding Today and in the Future: Executive Summary. OECD Environment Working Paper No. 1. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  5. See also Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2008) Costs of Inaction on Key Environmental Challenges. Paris: OECD;Google Scholar
  6. and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2008) Human Development Report 2007/2008. Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
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    H. Brecht, et al. (2012) “Sea-Level Rise and Storm Surges: High Stakes for a Small Number of Developing Countries”, The Journal of Environment and Development, 21: 120–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Edward B. Barbier (2015) “Climate Change Impacts on Rural Poverty in Low-elevation Coastal Zones”, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.05.035”doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2015.05.035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Edward B. Barbier and Anil Markandya (2012) The New Blueprint for a Green Economy. London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, p. 19.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press, table 1.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Edward B. Barbier (2010) “Poverty, Development, and Environment”, Environment and Development Economics, 15: 635–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 16.
    United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014) World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights. New York: United Nations. Available at: http://esa.un.org/unpdt/wup/Highlights/WUP2014-Highlights.pdfGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Edward B. Barbier 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward B. Barbier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WyomingUSA

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