Economic Growth and Valuation of the Environment

Economic Growth and Valuation of the Environment

A Debate

Edited by Ekko C. Van Ierland, Jan van der Straaten and Herman Vollebergh

The debate on the valuation of nature and the environment, sustainable national income and economic growth is one of prime importance in environmental economics. Economic Growth and Valuation of the Environment deals with the fundamental approaches to calculating sustainable national income and their implications for the valuation of the environment.

Chapter 2: Environmental valuation and sustainable national income according to Hueting

Roefie Hueting and Bart de Boer

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Roefie Hueting and Bart de Boer* 1 INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW The notion of what some now refer to as the sustainable national income according to Hueting (SNI, see Verbruggen et al., Chapter 11, this volume) has a relatively long history that goes back to the mid-1960s. Most of the work has appeared in print. In this chapter we therefore restrict ourselves to our main lines of argument, referring the reader back to earlier publications where appropriate. Such a procedure is necessary, experience has taught, for our treatment of SNI involves concepts and insights from diverse fields of research, and for a proper overall understanding there must be careful elaboration of each. What is terra incognita for one reader may be self-evident to another, however, and we have therefore structured this chapter in a way that allows us to concentrate on the key steps of our approach while retaining the quality of our argument, at the same time allowing the reader to decide which sections are relevant to him or her and which can be skipped over. To assist the reader, in this introduction we will therefore briefly summarize the basic principles and their consequences before substantiating them in subsequent sections. The most important principles are the formal concept of welfare and the concept of competing functions. On the road to the SNI, a series of theoretical problems had to be solved, notably with regard to environmental valuation. The solutions found follow from the principles adopted, and are thus consequences...

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