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The Non-Market Benefits of Nature: What Should Be Counted in Green GDP?

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  • Boyd, James W.

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Green gross domestic product (green GDP) is meant to account for nature’s value on an equal footing with the market economy. Several problems bedevil green GDP, however. One is that nature does not come prepackaged in units like cars, houses, and bread. Even worse, green GDP requires measurement of the benefits arising from public goods provided by nature for which there are no market indicators of value. So what should green GDP count? That is the subject of this paper. Ecological and economic theory are used to describe what should be counted—and what should not—if green GDP is to account for the nonmarket benefits of nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyd, James W., 2006. "The Non-Market Benefits of Nature: What Should Be Counted in Green GDP?," Discussion Papers dp-06-24, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-06-24
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-06-24.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zvi Griliches, 1992. "Output Measurement in the Service Sectors," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril92-1, April.
    2. H. Spencer Banzhaf & James Boyd, 2012. "The Architecture and Measurement of an Ecosystem Services Index," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-32, March.
    3. Bulte, Erwin & Gerking, Shelby & List, John A. & de Zeeuw, Aart, 2005. "The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated WTP values: evidence from a field study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 330-342, March.
    4. Karl-Göran Mäler, 1991. "National accounts and environmental resources," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, March.
    5. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2006. "What Are Ecosystem Services?," Discussion Papers dp-06-02, Resources For the Future.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruggeri, Joe, 2009. "Government investment in natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1723-1739, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    green GDP; environmental accounting; ecosystem services; index theory; nonmarket valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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