Macroeconomics and the Environment
Show Less

Macroeconomics and the Environment

Essays on Green Accounting

  • Advances in Ecological Economics series

Salah El Serafy

Though scientists and environmentalists have long expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the global environment, economists have largely failed to recognize the issue’s relevance to their field. Salah El Serafy argues for an increased focus on the economic aspects of environmental degradation, calling for a fundamental shift in how economists measure and discuss national income.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details

Chapter 4: Income, capital and wealth

Salah El Serafy

Extract

Income is a difficult quantity to define and problematic to measure. Capital is even worse; and yet both are important concepts with which economists and accountants have to struggle. Their relevance to national accounting is obvious for they directly impinge on the estimations of the macroeconomic values that are read from national income. Controversy surrounds discussion of both quantities, and yet, the meaning of both concepts has been fairly clear for some considerable time. This is not to say that either of them, especially capital, is yet free from debate. Disputes have also surrounded a capital-related quantity, ‘wealth’, which has received much attention in environmental economic discussions of late. A source of some confusion is that wealth in classical economics often meant a flow of income. The recent popularity of the stock of wealth derives from the claim that it is superior to income as an indicator of welfare – a claim that can hardly be disputed. But welfare is not the primary reason, or even the reason, why national income is estimated.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.