Green accounting and sustainability of the Peruvian metal mining sector
This paper estimates the true economic income of Peru's metal mining sector for the period 1992-2006, using a model of green economic income based on Hamilton (2000). The total depletion of natural capital caused by metal mining is calculated by estimating, on the one hand, the depreciation of mining resources (using the Hotelling rent approach) and, on the other, the environmental degradation provoked by metal mining activities. The results show that the total loss of natural capital represents between 31% and 51% of the metal mining GDP and between 2% and 4.9% of Peru's GDP. On the other hand, correcting the usual GDP measure produced by the traditional National Account System (NAS) for the total loss of natural capital caused by mining activities shows that the GDP traditional measure overestimated by 51-64% the true economic income generated by Peruvian's metal mining sector during the period 1992-2006. The importance of the generation, taxation, and disposition of mining economic rents for Peru's sustainable development in the future is also discussed.
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