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Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies

  • Kenneth Arrow
  • Partha Dasgupta
  • Karl-Göran Mäler

We are interested in three related questions:(1) How should accounting prices be estimated?(2) How should we evaluate policy change in animperfect economy? (3) How can we check whetherintergenerational well-being will be sustainedalong a projected economic programme? We do notpresume that the economy is convex, nor do weassume that the government optimizes on behalfof its citizens. We show that the same set ofaccounting prices should be used both forpolicy evaluation and for assessing whether ornot intergenerational welfare along a giveneconomic path will be sustained. We also showthat a comprehensive measure of wealth,computed in terms of the accounting prices, canbe used as an index for problems (2) and (3)above. The remainder of the paper is concernedwith rules for estimating the accounting pricesof several specific environmental naturalresources, transacted in a few well knowneconomic institutions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 647-685

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:26:y:2003:i:4:p:647-685
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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  1. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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  3. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Hahn, F H, 1970. "Savings and Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 21-24, January.
  5. Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1998. "Green Accounting in Imperfect Market Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 273-287, April.
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  13. Skiba, A K, 1978. "Optimal Growth with a Convex-Concave Production Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(3), pages 527-39, May.
  14. Nordhaus, William D & Yang, Zili, 1996. "A Regional Dynamic General-Equilibrium Model of Alternative Climate-Change Strategies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 741-65, September.
  15. Pearce, David & Hamilton, Kirk & Atkinson, Giles, 1996. "Measuring sustainable development: progress on indicators," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 85-101, February.
  16. Pearce, David W. & Atkinson, Giles D., 1993. "Capital theory and the measurement of sustainable development: an indicator of "weak" sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 103-108, October.
  17. Susan M. Collins & Barry P. Bosworth, 1996. "Economic Growth in East Asia: Accumulation versus Assimilation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 135-204.
  18. Vincent, Jeffrey R. & Panayotou, Theodore & Hartwick, John M., 1997. "Resource Depletion and Sustainability in Small Open Economies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 274-286, July.
  19. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247882, March.
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  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521297615 is not listed on IDEAS
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