IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/aare02/125106.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Natural Resource Accounting in Theory and Practive: A Critical Assessment

Author

Listed:
  • Harris, Michael
  • Fraser, Iain

Abstract

In this paper an extensive review of the theoretical and applied literature on NRA is provided. The review begins by explaining the economic theory that underpins NRA, contrasting welfare and sustainability as policy goals, and presenting various distinct conceptions of national income. The state of play regarding official revisions to the system of national accounts (SNA) with respect to natural resources and the environment is presented and controversial areas are highlighted. Finally, the economic literature on proposed revisions, and applied studies that have proceeded using these methods, is summarised and critiqued. We argue that much of the literature proceeds with weak conceptual foundations, and that typical case studies produce results that are ambiguous in interpretation. Moreover, we highlight fundamental tensions between economic theory and national accounting methodology, and conclude that one outcome of this has been insufficient attention paid by economists to the revisions to the SNA, instead devoting time and effort to “freelance” NRA case studies utilising sometimes ad hoc methods from the economic literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Michael & Fraser, Iain, 2001. "Natural Resource Accounting in Theory and Practive: A Critical Assessment," 2002 Conference (46th), February 13-15, 2002, Canberra, Australia 125106, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare02:125106
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/125106/files/Harris.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. El Serafy, Salah, 1997. "Green accounting and economic policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 217-229, June.
    2. Liu, Xuelin, 1998. "Adjusted forest accounts for China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 283-298, December.
    3. Klepper, Gernot & Stahler, Frank, 1998. "Sustainabilty in Closed and Open Economies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 488-506, August.
    4. Norgaard, Richard B., 1989. "Three dilemmas of environmental accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 303-314, December.
    5. Hanley, Nick & Moffatt, Ian & Faichney, Robin & Wilson, Mike, 1999. "Measuring sustainability: A time series of alternative indicators for Scotland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 55-73, January.
    6. Bartelmus, Peter, 1999. "Green accounting for a sustainable economy: Policy use and analysis of environmental accounts in the Philippines," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-170, April.
    7. Young, Carlos Eduardo Frickmann & da Motta, Ronaldo Seroa, 1995. "Measuring sustainable income from mineral extraction in Brazil," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 113-125, June.
    8. Common, Mick & Sanyal, Kali, 1998. "Measuring the depreciation of Australia's non-renewable resources: a cautionary tale," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 23-30, July.
    9. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Papers 145, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    10. Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1998. "Green Accounting in Imperfect Market Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 273-287, April.
    11. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-265.
    12. Shzee Tai & Kusairi Noh & Nik Abdullah, 2000. "Valuing Fisheries Depreciation in Natural Resource Accounting: The Pelagic Fisheries in Northeast Peninsular Malaysia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(3), pages 227-241, March.
    13. Milon, J. Walter & Shogren, Jason F., 1995. "Integrating Economic and Ecological Indicators: Practical Methods for Environmental Policy Analysis," Staff General Research Papers Archive 924, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    14. Martin Whitby & W. Neil Adger, 1996. "Natural And Reproducible Capital And The Sustainability Of Land Use In The Uk," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1-4), pages 50-65.
    15. Victor, Peter A., 1991. "Indicators of sustainable development: some lessons from capital theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 191-213, December.
    16. Hinterberger, Friedrich & Luks, Fred & Schmidt-Bleek, Friedrich, 1997. "Material flows vs. 'natural capital': What makes an economy sustainable?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-14, October.
    17. Pezzey, John C V & Withagen, Cees A, 1998. " The Rise, Fall and Sustainability of Capital-Resource Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 513-527, June.
    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. Asheim, Geir B, 1997. " Adjusting Green NNP to Measure Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(3), pages 355-370, September.
    20. Asheim, Geir B., 1996. "Capital gains and net national product in open economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 419-434, March.
    21. T.K. Rymes., 1992. "Some Theoretical Problems in Accounting for Sustainnable Consumption," Carleton Economic Papers 92-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 1993.
    22. Per-Olov Johansson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1996. "On the interpretation of ‘green’ NNP measures as cost-benefit rules," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(3), pages 243-250, April.
    23. Neumayer, Eric, 2000. "On the methodology of ISEW, GPI and related measures: some constructive suggestions and some doubt on the 'threshold' hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 347-361, September.
    24. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Resource depletion and economic sustainability in Malaysia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 19-37, February.
    25. Lintott, John, 1996. "Environmental accounting: useful to whom and for what?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 179-190, March.
    26. Diaz, Aldo & Harchaoui, Tarek M, 1997. "Accounting for Exhaustible Resources in the Canadian System of National Accounts: Flows, Stocks and Productivity Measures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 465-485, December.
    27. Neil Adger, W. & Grohs, Florian, 1994. "Aggregate estimate of environmental degradation for Zimbabwe: Does sustainable national income ensure sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 93-104, November.
    28. Tom Crowards, 1996. "Natural resource accounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(3), pages 213-241, April.
    29. 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.
    30. Julie Whittaker, 1997. "Natural And Reproducible Capital And The Sustainability Of Land Use In The Uk: A Comment," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 451-453.
    31. Foy, George E., 1991. "Accounting for non-renewable natural resources in Louisiana's gross state product," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, March.
    32. Kjell Arne Brekke, 1997. "Hicksian Income from Resource Extraction in an Open Economy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 516-527.
    33. Holub, Hans Werner & Tappeiner, Gottfried & Tappeiner, Ulrike, 1999. "Some remarks on the 'System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting' of the United Nations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 329-336, June.
    34. Turner, Paul & Tschirhart, John, 1999. "Green accounting and the welfare gap," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 161-175, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ossama Mikhail & J. Walter Milon & Richard Hofler, 2005. "Is Investment in Environmental Quality a Solution to Recessions? Studying the Welfare Effects of Green Animal Spirits," Others 0510010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Randall, Alan, 2008. "Is Australia on a sustainability path? Interpreting the clues," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-19.
    3. Michael Harris, 2001. "The Income of Nations: Measurement with (What?) Theory," Working Papers 2001.09, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    4. Matthew Clarke & Sardar M. N. Islam, 2006. "National account measures and sustainability objectives: present approaches and future prospects," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 219-233.
    5. Harris, Michael, 2003. "Depreciation and Obsolescence in the Context of Natural Resource Accounting," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57886, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    6. Gren, Ing-Marie & Isacs, Lina, 2009. "Ecosystem services and regional development: An application to Sweden," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2549-2559, August.
    7. Brian Walker & Leonie Pearson & Michael Harris & Karl-Göran Maler & Chuan-Zhong Li & Reinette Biggs & Tim Baynes, 2010. "Incorporating Resilience in the Assessment of Inclusive Wealth: An Example from South East Australia," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(2), pages 183-202, February.
    8. Matero, Jukka & Saastamoinen, Olli, 2007. "In search of marginal environmental valuations -- ecosystem services in Finnish forest accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 101-114, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aare02:125106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aaresea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.