Economics, Equity and the Ecological Predicament
Edited by Joshua Farley and Deepak Malghan
Chapter 9: Hicksian income, welfare and the steady state
The range of Herman Daly’s contributions to environmental economics has been extensive. I select here one topic upon which he pondered and successfully propagated among environmental economists. This is ‘Hicksian income.’ The estimation of national (or social) income, particularly the portion of it that derives from the exploitation of natural resources, is a subject that has occupied my thinking for some considerable time. This chapter discusses Herman’s ‘Hicksian income,’ and additionally touches on the related topic of ‘steady state economics,’ which I take to be Daly’s most enduring interest. Another aspect of the same topic also reviewed is Daly’s clear preference for viewing income estimates, not just as gauges of output, but as indicators of welfare. In this he has obviously been following Pigou but, surprisingly, as I hope to show below, Hicks also.
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