Measuring the sustainability of a national economy. The application of three measures of sustainability to Ireland

Robin Curry, Cathy Maguire, Jim Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An assessment of the sustainability of the Irish economy has been carried out using three methodologies, enabling comparison and evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and potential synergies among them. The three measures chosen were economy-wide Material Flow Analysis (MFA), environmentally extended input-output (EE-IO) analysis and the Ecological Footprint (EF). The research aims to assess the sustainability of the Irish economy using these methods and to draw conclusions on their effectiveness in policy making both individually and in combination. A theoretical description discusses the methods and their respective advantages and disadvantages and sets out a rationale for their combined application. The application of the methods in combination has provided insights into measuring the sustainability of a national economy and generated new knowledge on the collective application of these methods. The limitations of the research are acknowledged and opportunities to address these and build on and extend the research are identified. Building on previous research, it is concluded that a complete picture of sustainability cannot be provided by a single method and/or indicator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
JournalIrish Geography
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2014

Keywords

  • indicators, sustainability, input-output analysis, mass balance, ecological footprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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