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 8: Steering by the right compass: the quest for a better assessment of the national product

Salah El Serafy

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


Salah El Serafy 1 PROLOGUE The title of this chapter derives from a phrase that figured at the top of the first section of a joint study Roefie Hueting wrote with Jan Tinbergen (Tinbergen and Hueting, 1992). The subtitle above describes in rough terms the main theme of this study. The Tinbergen–Hueting joint work appeared as a chapter in a book edited jointly by Robert Goodland, Herman Daly and myself (Goodland et al., 1992). All three of us are paying tribute to Roefie’s path-breaking achievements in this festschrift. Roefie’s monumental opus, New Scarcity and Economic Growth, which had been published in Dutch earlier, was still highly original when it appeared in the English language six years later (Hueting, 1980). Perusing it today, with the benefit of hindsight and in the light of later writings, the reader finds New Scarcity replete with analytical insights, supported by a genuine caring for the environment. Over the last two decades, participants in international gatherings have noted the special regard with which Hueting was being held, clearly recognized as a founding father of the new discipline of ecological economics. Even his opponents appeared to be impressed by his concern for the environment, imaginative analysis, tenacity in argument and bravery in countering opposing views. We have all come to know and appreciate his multifaceted nature, his sense of humour and his varied cultural interests. 2 TWO EXCEPTIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS First I would like to state that for me, with my much narrower...

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