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Accounting for the Wealth of Nations: The Net versus Gross Output Controversy and Its Ramifications

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  • Hulten, Charles R

Abstract

There has been a longstanding controversy over the use of net versus gross measures of national product in accounting for economic growth, most recently reflected in several papers which have examined.the role of environmental variables. It is argued in this paper that the two measures are not substitutes, but complements which reveal different aspects of the growth process: gross product is the correct output concept for estimating the structure of production, while net product is the correct concept for measuring the welfare consequences of economic growth. An alternative to the conventional Solow growth accounting framework is then presented in which the change in national wealth is decomposed into its component elements. Copyright 1992 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Hulten, Charles R, 1992. " Accounting for the Wealth of Nations: The Net versus Gross Output Controversy and Its Ramifications," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages 9-24, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:94:y:1992:i:0:p:s9-24
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles R. Hulten, 2006. "The "Architecture" of Capital Accounting: Basic Design Principles," NBER Chapters,in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 193-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Paul E. Brockway & Matthew K. Heun & João Santos & John R. Barrett, 2017. "Energy-Extended CES Aggregate Production: Current Aspects of Their Specification and Econometric Estimation," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-23, February.
    3. Kenneth Backlund, 2003. "On the Role of Green Taxes in Social Accounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(1), pages 33-50, May.
    4. Dale W. Jorgenson & J. Steven Landefeld, 2006. "Blueprint for Expanded and Integrated U.S. Accounts: Review, Assessment, and Next Steps," NBER Chapters,in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 13-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Roland Spant, 2003. "Why Net Domestic Product Should Replace Gross Domestic Product as a Measure of Economic Growth," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 7, pages 39-43, Fall.
    6. Benjamin Bridgman, 2014. "Is Labor's Loss Capital's Gain? Gross versus Net Labor Shares," BEA Working Papers 0114, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    7. Parry, Ian, 1997. "Productivity Trends in the Natural Resource Industries," Discussion Papers dp-97-39, Resources For the Future.
    8. Mino, Kazuo, 2004. "On the Generalized Weitzman's Rule," MPRA Paper 16996, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:24:y:1993:i:1993-2m:p:1-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Charles R. Hulten, 2000. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Working Papers 7471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1995. "National product related welfare measures in the presence of technological change: Externalities and uncertainty," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 321-332, June.
    12. Hulten, Charles R., 2010. "Growth Accounting," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.

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