Natural Resource Accounting in Theory and Practice: A Critical Assessment

Fraser, Iain M and Harris, Michael P. (2002) Natural Resource Accounting in Theory and Practice: A Critical Assessment. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 46 (2). 139 - 192. ISSN 1364-985X. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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In this paper an extensive review of the theoretical and applied literature on natural resource accounting (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 the insufficient attention paid by economists to the revisions to the SNA; instead devoting time and effort to 'freelance' NRA case studies utilising sometimes ad hoe methods from the economic literature.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Agri-Environment Economics
Depositing User: Iain Fraser
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2008 15:13
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2014 13:27
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