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Measuring the trade-off between economic growth and a clean environment

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  • F. Butter
  • H. Verbruggen

Abstract

This article surveys various aspects of the measurement of environmental quality from the view point of national accounting and welfare economics. It focuses on the question whether GNP or NNP should be corrected for environmental change (‘green’ or ‘eco’-GNP) or whether physical accounts provide sufficient information for an assessment of the trade-off mentioned above. We conclude that valuation of (services from) environmental capital cannot be avoided for such assessment, but can only be made using a model based approach. Statistical agencies should continue to collect data on environmental quality and to value changes in environmental capital in the context of national resource accounting. However, official statisticians should refrain from correcting GNP or NNP for environmental change, as this correction implicitly contains a political judgment and cannot be based on mere technical knowledge. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Suggested Citation

  • F. Butter & H. Verbruggen, 1994. "Measuring the trade-off between economic growth and a clean environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 187-208, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:4:y:1994:i:2:p:187-208 DOI: 10.1007/BF00692203
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vellinga, Nico & Withagen, Cees, 1996. "On the Concept of Green National Income," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 499-514, October.
    2. Raymond Gradus & Sjak Smulders, 1993. "The trade-off between environmental care and long-term growth—Pollution in three prototype growth models," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, February.
    3. Jon Nicolaisen & Peter Hoeller, 1990. "Economics and the Environment: A Survey of Issues and Policy Options," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 82, OECD Publishing.
    4. Nijkamp, P. & Paelinck, J., 1973. "Some models for the economic evaluation of the environment," Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 33-62, February.
    5. Mordechai Shechter, 1991. "A comparative study of environmental amenity valuations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 129-155, June.
    6. Tahvonen, Olli & Kuuluvainen, Jari, 1991. "Optimal growth with renewable resources and pollution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 650-661, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. den Butter, F. A. G. & van der Eyden, J. A. C., 1998. "A pilot index for environmental policy in The Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 95-101, February.
    2. F. Butter & M. Hofkes, 1995. "Sustainable development with extractive and non-extractive use of the environment in production," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(4), pages 341-358, December.
    3. Winter-Nelson, Alex, 1995. "Natural resources, national income, and economic growth in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1507-1519, September.

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