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National product related welfare measures in the presence of technological change: Externalities and uncertainty

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  • Thomas Aronsson
  • Karl-Gustaf Löfgren

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss under what conditions welfare can be measured by observables related to the national product (or Hamiltonian along the optimal trajectory). Under nonattributable technological or environmental change, welfare will depend on time itself, meaning that the Hamiltonian along the optimal trajectory will be a biased measure of welfare. This result will also hold if we make the time dependence of welfare endogenous, by replacing technological change will externalities that are not internalized during optimization. On the other hand, if we take the externalities fully into account, then the Hamiltonian will represent the appropriate measure of welfare. Similar results also hold in the case of uncertainty, where we show that a ‘generalized’ Hamiltonian provides a welfare measure, and that the deterministic measures are special cases of their stochastic counterparts. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1995. "National product related welfare measures in the presence of technological change: Externalities and uncertainty," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 321-332, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:4:p:321-332
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00691572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Winter-Nelson, Alex, 1996. "Discount rates, natural resources, and the measurement of aggregate economic growth in Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 21-32, April.
    2. Aronsson, Thomas & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1999. "Pollution tax design and 'Green' national accounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1457-1474, August.
    3. Chuan-Zhong Li & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 2012. "Genuine saving under stochastic growth," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 167-174, October.
    4. Kenneth Backlund, 2003. "On the Role of Green Taxes in Social Accounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(1), pages 33-50, May.
    5. Weitzman, Martin L. & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1997. "On the Welfare Significance of Green Accounting as Taught by Parable," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 139-153, February.
    6. Butterfield, David W., 2003. "Resource depletion under uncertainty: implications for mine depreciation, Hartwick's Rule and national accounting," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 219-238, August.
    7. Mino, Kazuo, 2004. "Weitzman's rule with market distortions," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 307-329, August.
    8. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "On the welfare significance of national product under interest-rate uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1581-1594, September.
    9. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2000. "Renewable Resources and Economic Sustainability: A Dynamic Analysis with Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 236-250, November.
    10. Haener, Michel K. & Adamowicz, Victor L., 2000. "Incorporation of risk in regional forest resource accounts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 439-455, June.
    11. Winter-Nelson, Alex, 1995. "Natural resources, national income, and economic growth in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1507-1519, September.
    12. Gret-Regamey, Adrienne & Kytzia, Susanne, 2007. "Integrating the valuation of ecosystem services into the Input-Output economics of an Alpine region," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 786-798, September.
    13. Mino, Kazuo, 2004. "On the Generalized Weitzman's Rule," MPRA Paper 16996, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Marklund, Per-Olov, 2004. "Essays on Productive Efficiency, Shadow Prices, and Human Capital. PhD Thesis," Umeå Economic Studies 621, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    15. Samakovlis, Eva, 2008. "How are Green National Accounts Produced in Practice?," Working Papers 105, National Institute of Economic Research.

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