Gross domestic product (GDP) has been inappropriately used as the main indicator for assessing the sustainability of economic development for a long time. Inclusive wealth (IW) offers a new approach to assess sustainability by comprehensively measuring the productive base of the economy that involves three types of capital assets of nations (produced, human and natural capital), and aggregates them into a single measure of wealth. This study proposes an alternative to the literature on the conventional energy – growth nexus that widely uses GDP as a proxy of the growth. This study aims to investigate the impact of energy consumption on wealth in the IW framework and forecast the growth of IW over the next three decades. For this purpose, this study uses both parametric and non-parametric analyses on 104 countries for 1993–2014. Our results indicate that there is a negative and significant impact of energy consumption on IW growth, suggesting an unsustainable pattern of world energy consumption. Using a machine learning technique, it is forecasted that increasing the efficiency of energy consumption leads to a higher growth in average per capita IW. This study also suggests that a shift to renewables is a precondition for sustainable development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes