IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Old Man and the SNI: A review of advance and adversity in Hueting's research in sustainable national income (SNI), economic growth and the new scarcity from the environment

Listed author(s):
  • Colignatus, Thomas

Roefie Hueting (1929), recently turned 78 years of age, has been working on the subject of economics and the environment since around 1965. Seminal results are his notion of environmental functions (WWF, 1969), his Ph.D. thesis “New Scarcity and Economic Growth. More welfare through less production ?” (1974), the definition of (environmentally) sustainable national income (eSNI, UNEP/Worldbank 1989), the eSNI methodology (CBS Statistics Netherlands 1992) and his contributions to the 1999 Hueting Congress (presentation and rejoinders, 2001bc). The figure of national income NI gives production while the figure of eSNI gives the production level that maintains the availability for future generations of the vital environmental functions. For many economists, the current focus is on climate change but the ecological challenge is much wider and more fundamental, see also the Convention on Biological Diversity, Bonn 2008. The figure for eSNI still isn’t included in the system of national accounts (SNA) which means that current statistical reporting on national income and economic growth provides incomplete information to policy makers and the general public. With the dictum “What you measure is what you get”, we currently get “economic growth” that works against sustainability. This review provides a reflection on advance and adversity in 40 years of Hueting’s research in a world that only slowly recognizes the global environmental problem. How do governments decide under risk, how do they grow aware of that very risk, what is the role of the national statistical offices in providing information on that risk, especially when that risk concerns survival for large sections of the planet ? The reflection provides insights that themselves are useful for our understanding of the political economy of research on issues that are politically sensitive.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 9152.

in new window

Date of creation: 16 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9152
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Hueting, Roefie & Reijnders, Lucas & de Boer, Bart & Lambooy, Jan & Jansen, Huib, 1998. "The concept of environmental function and its valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 31-35, April.
  2. Hueting, Roefie & Reijnders, Lucas, 2004. "Broad sustainability contra sustainability: the proper construction of sustainability indicators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3-4), pages 249-260, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:9152. 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: (Joachim Winter)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.