Ecosystem services and regional development: An application to Sweden
This study carries out interregional comparisons of development and sustainable use of natural capital with and without inclusion of non-marketed ecosystem services. A simple dynamic model of an open economy shows that appropriate adjustment of conventional income accounts includes flow and stock components, but excludes explicit entrance of pollution. Calculations are made for Swedish regions and for two types of ecosystem services -- pollution sequestration and recreational services -- provided by three types of ecosystems: forests, agricultural landscape and wetlands. When comparing the adjusted and non-adjusted regional income accounts it is shown that the two measurements generate significantly different pictures of regional income and growth; regions that are traditionally considered as relatively less growth promoting are shown to hold important sources of wealth from natural capital, while counties that are rich in conventional accounts fall behind when adjusting for values of changes in natural capital.
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