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This key book by the UN may be informative for this discussion.  A key implication of their work on this is that intangible wealth accounts for bulk of the total wealth of the developed world (and even much of the wealth of the less developed world). Intangible wealth includes human capital, such as education, but it also includes social capital even more so, such as the institutions, formal and informal, which allow for people to go about getting what they need to maximize well being.  Once you include the intangible forms of wealth, it becomes quite hard to honestly draw any general conclusions about policy strategies for raw materials, labor, or energy since minor shifts in the institutional universe can greatly outweigh major shifts in natural resources or labor/population. Instead such conclusions are going to be very case specific to particular geographies and times.


by santiago on Sun Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:37:26 PM EST

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