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Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies

Author

Listed:
  • Kenneth Arrow

    (Research Initiative on the Environment, the Economy, and Sustainable Welfare, Stanford University, Stanford)

  • Partha Dasgupta

    (Faculty of Economics of Cambridge and St. John’s College, Cambridge)

  • Karl-Göran Mäler

    (Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, Stockholm)

Abstract

We are interested in three related questions: (1) How should accounting prices be estimated? (2) How should we evaluate policy change in an imperfect economy? (3) How can we check whether intergenerational well-being will be sustained along a projected economic programme? We do not presume that the economy is convex, nor do we assume that the government optimizes on behalf of its citizens. We show that the same set of accounting prices should be used both for policy evaluation and for assessing whether or not intergenerational welfare along a given economic path will be sustained. We also show that a comprehensive measure of wealth, computed in terms of the accounting prices, can be used as an index for problems (2) and (3) above. The remainder of the paper is concerned with rules for estimating the accounting prices of several specific environmental natural resources, transacted in a few well known economic institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Working Papers 2003.109, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.109
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainable development; Imperfect economies;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

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