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Can NNP be used for welfare comparisons?

  • ASHEIM, GEIR B.

This paper contains a critical assessment of the claim that nnp can be used for welfare comparisons. The analysis assumes that national accounts are comprehensive (in particular, “greened” by taking into account environmental amenities and natural resource depletion), but does not assume optimal resource allocation. The general conclusion is that greater nnp does not correspond to welfare enhancement, unless the net investment flows are revalued. Real utility-nnp, and real measurable nnp made comparable across time by means of a consumer price index, allow for such revaluation, and thus indicate welfare improvement.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2007)
Issue (Month): 01 (February)
Pages: 11-31

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:12:y:2007:i:01:p:11-31_00
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  1. Geir B. Asheim, 2003. "Green national accounting for welfare and sustainability:A Taxonomy Of Assumptions And Results," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 113-130, 05.
  2. Asheim,G.B. & Weitzman,M.L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Memorandum 02/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Dixit, Avinash & Hammond, Peter & Hoel, Michael, 1980. "On Hartwick's Rule for Regular Maximin Paths of Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 551-56, April.
  4. Geir B. Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz, 2004. "A General Approach to Welfare Measurement through National Income Accounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 361-384, 06.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Valuing Objects and Evaluating Policies in Imperfect Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C1-29, May.
  6. Pezzey, John C V & Withagen, Cees A, 1998. " The Rise, Fall and Sustainability of Capital-Resource Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 513-27, June.
  7. Weitzman, Martin L, 2001. " A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 1-23, March.
  8. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Working Papers 2003.109, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
  11. Asheim, Geir B., 2005. "Welfare comparisons between societies with different population sizes and environmental characteristics," Memorandum 25/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  12. Martin L. Weitzman, 1970. "Aggregation and Disaggregation in the Pure Theory of Capital and Growth: A New Parable," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 292, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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