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Economic Research Papers on Natural Resources



Economics, Science and Climate Change Economics, Science and Climate Change
Julian Gough, World Economics, June 2016
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contends that global warming is largely due to the burning of fossil fuels, leading to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. This theory is tested with global data from three different period ... More


The Paris Climate Agreement heightens development challenges in Africa The Paris Climate Agreement heightens development challenges in Africa
Hippolyte Fofack, World Economics, June 2016
Although the Paris Agreement lacks a binding mechanism for capping carbon emissions, and a legally binding financial commitment to support climate change adaptation and mitigation in the developing world, it establishes a legal framework to accelerate the transition tow ... More


Are There Limits to Green Growth? Are There Limits to Green Growth?
Edward B. Barbier, World Economics, September 2015
Although there is progress in developing green sectors in some countries, the key challenge facing the expansion of economy-wide green innovation and structural change is the absence of relevant policy follow-up to the green stimulus enacted during the Great Recession. ... More


Measuring Natural Capital Measuring Natural Capital: The main issues
Dariana Tani, World Economics, December 2014
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of establishing a system of natural capital accounting. Natural capital is integral to the economy and yet it is routinely taken for granted because the goods and services it provides are generally freely availabl ... More


How to Reduce Carbon Emissions Equitably How to Reduce Carbon Emissions Equitably
Masud Ally & Wilfred Beckerman, World Economics, March 2014
So far international negotiations designed to reduce carbon emissions have come up against the clash of views as to the equitable way of sharing out the ‘burden’ among countries. In this article we show that the main criteria that have been discussed, including ‘histori ... More


Global Value Chains, International Trade Statistics and Policymaking in a Flattening World Global Value Chains, International Trade Statistics and Policymaking in a Flattening World
Alejandro Jara & Hubert Escaith, World Economics, December 2012
The raise of global production networks since the 1980s changed the way we understand international trade and has profound repercussions on development policies and the conduct of global governance. New comparative advantages allow large developing countries to leap-fro ... More


Managing Today’s Global Economy Managing Today’s Global Economy: The world economy as a commons
F. Gerard Adams, World Economics, June 2011
Following the path-breaking work of Coase (1960), economists have recognised the complex issues of managing jointly owned and utilised properties, so-called commons. Increasingly we see this as a problem of externalities, as with public goods. We recognise the wide rang ... More


A New Challenge A New Challenge: The myriad new opportunities offered by East Africa’s oil and gas basin
Ziwase Ndhlovu, World Economics, June 2011
Over the last five years there has been a noticeable shift in focus among leading oil and gas companies active in the continent of Africa. Rather than focusing on West and North Africa for investment opportunities, there has been a move to explore new prospects in East ... More


Malthus Postponed Malthus Postponed: The potential to promote palm oil production in Africa
Keith Boyfield & Inna Ali, World Economics, June 2011
The authors examine the potential to promote palm oil production in the tropical regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Given world population pressures and soaring food prices, the need to grow more food has never been more urgent. Palm oil cultivation offers one possible rout ... More


The European Union’s Trade Policies and Africa’s Exports The European Union’s Trade Policies and Africa’s Exports
Olayinka Idowu Kareem, World Economics, June 2011
An important determinant of the sustainability of growth in Africa is the extent to which the continent can exploit the opportunities available from trade. Trade barriers exist to key African exports, which make it difficult for the continent to take advantage of the gr ... More


Low-Carbon Development for the Least Developed Countries Low-Carbon Development for the Least Developed Countries
Alex Bowen & Sam Fankhauser, World Economics, March 2011
The global community has to act collectively to halt climate change. But such collective action must take into account the development needs of the least developed countries (LDCs), which are likely to be hit earliest and hardest by climate change. The priority of such ... More


Towards New Thinking in Economics Towards New Thinking in Economics: Terry Barker on structural macroeconomics, climate change mitigation, the relevance of empirical evidence and the need for a revised economics discipline
Şerban Scrieciu, World Economics, March 2011
Terry Barker is a leading British economist in macroeconomics, climate economics and empirical analysis. For over 45 years, he has been involved in research at Cambridge on economic theory and applied economics, in areas such as: trade theory and space and time economic ... More


Keith Boyfield on Paul Collier: The Plundered Planet Keith Boyfield on Paul Collier: The Plundered Planet

World Economics, September 2010
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Green Stimulus, Green Recovery and Global Imbalances Green Stimulus, Green Recovery and Global Imbalances
Edward B. Barbier, PhD, World Economics, June 2010
This paper assesses the extent to which G20 green stimulus initiatives enacted during the 2008–9 recession have instigated a global ‘green recovery’, and how further green recovery policy initiatives by the G20 relate to concerns about chronic fiscal deficits and global ... More


Carbon Commitments Must Translate into Real Action Carbon Commitments Must Translate into Real Action
Andrew Raingold, World Economics, March 2010
The efforts of political leaders to negotiate a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions highlights the importance of consistent action at the domestic level. To gauge the efficacy of any international agreement and subsequent reductions, a clear, consistent and comp ... More


Global Climate Change Global Climate Change
F. Gerard Adams, World Economics, September 2009
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Economists and Climate Change: Homework Comes First Economists and Climate Change: Homework Comes First: A comment to Henderson
Aldo Matteucci, World Economics, June 2009
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How Much Would it Cost to Avoid Climate Change? How Much Would it Cost to Avoid Climate Change?
Bryan Buckley & Sergey Mityakov, World Economics, March 2009
This paper summarises various estimates of the costs of mitigation of the adverse impact of climate change. It finds that the differences in the estimated impacts on gross domestic product, consumption, employment, and gasoline, electricity and natural gas prices are dr ... More


A Question of Fudge A Question of Fudge: Professor Nordhaus on climate change and mitigation policy
Mohammed H.I. Dore, World Economics, March 2009
This paper is an outline and critique of William Nordhaus’ book A Question of Balance (2008), in which he proposes his optimal policy for dealing with global climate change. Nordhaus finds that the proposals of the Stern Review and that of Al Gore are inefficient and co ... More


Economists and Climate Science: A Critique Economists and Climate Science: A Critique
David Henderson, World Economics, March 2009
This paper presents a critique of the characteristic treatment by economists of climate science, which appears as over-presumptive and uncritical. While the paper draws on a range of illustrative cases, the main focus is on six recent and important contributions. The pr ... More


Climate Change Issues Climate Change Issues: An Australian contribution to the debate
David Henderson, World Economics, September 2008
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Over-Presumption and Myopia Over-Presumption and Myopia: The IMF on climate change issues
David Henderson, World Economics, June 2008
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New Light or Fixed Presumptions? New Light or Fixed Presumptions?: The OECD, the IMF and the treatment of climate change issues
David Henderson, World Economics, December 2007
Two leading international agencies, the OECD and the IMF, are now becoming more closely involved with climate change issues, in conjunction with finance and economics ministries within their member countries. This broader official involvement opens up an opportunity: it ... More


Do Current Assessments Underestimate Future Damages From Climate Change? Do Current Assessments Underestimate Future Damages From Climate Change?
Stéphane Hallegatte, World Economics, September 2007
While the economic debate on climate policy focuses on discounting, we do not know yet what to discount. The potential (non-discounted) socio-economic cost of climate change, indeed, is still unknown. Only a few studies have tried to estimate socio-economic costs of cli ... More


The Future of North Korea is South Korea The Future of North Korea is South Korea: (Or hope springs eternal)
Marcus Noland, World Economics, September 2007
North Korea's famine was in significant part a product of state failure, and unleashed an unintended grassroots process of marketization. Reforms undertaken in 2002 are more usefully interpreted as a response to this development than as a pro-active attempt to improve e ... More


Right for the Right Reasons Right for the Right Reasons: A final rejoinder on the Stern Review
Simon Dietz, Dennis Anderson, Nicholas Stern, Chris Taylor & Dimitri Zenghelis, World Economics, June 2007
Four authors of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, and Dennis Anderson who provided advice and background papers for the Review, make a final rejoinder on the debate about the Review that has occupied recent issues of this journal. They respond to comm ... More


Governments and Climate Change Issues Governments and Climate Change Issues: The case for rethinking
David Henderson, World Economics, June 2007
Governments, and in particular the governments of the OECD member countries, are mishandling climate change issues. Both the basis and the content of official policies are open to serious question. Too much reliance is placed on the established process of review and inq ... More


Climate Science and the Stern Review Climate Science and the Stern Review
Robert M. Carter, Chris de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany, David Holland & Richard S. Lindzen, World Economics, June 2007
Fundamentals of the climate science dispute and common misunderstandings of some issues raised about Part 1 of the Dual Critique of the Stern Review [Vol. 7, No. 4] are discussed. One consideration is that a distinct anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal has not yet been ... More


A Stern Reply to the Reply to the Review of the Stern Review A Stern Reply to the Reply to the Review of the Stern Review
Richard S. J. Tol & Gary W. Yohe, World Economics, June 2007
Tol and Yohe point out that, in their reply [Vol. 8, No. 1] to Tol and Yohe’s review [Vol. 7, No. 4], the Stern team demonstrates the fragility of the numerical findings of the cost–benefit analysis in the Stern Review. At the same time, the Stern t ... More


Response to Simmonds and Steffen Response to Simmonds and Steffen
David Holland, Robert M. Carter, Chris de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany & Richard S. Lindzen, World Economics, June 2007
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Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique—Part I: The Science’ Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique—Part I: The Science’
Ian Simmonds & Will Steffen, World Economics, June 2007
In their comments on part one of the ‘Dual Critique’ [Vol. 7, No. 4] the authors draw attention to a number of instances where the treatment of sources and evidence is selective and biased, and perhaps where it reveals a modest understanding of the vast amount of conven ... More


How Many Wildebeest do You Need? How Many Wildebeest do You Need?
Mike Norton-Griffiths, World Economics, June 2007
The catastrophic decline of wildlife in Kenya—some 60% over the last 30 years—finally galvanised the government into a review of wildlife policy. But what should have been a sober discussion of market failures, institutional failures, policy failures and conservation fa ... More


A Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique’ A Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique’
Andrew Glikson, World Economics, March 2007
Any consideration of the potential economic consequences of climate change depends critically on the physical evidence for this process. In this response, Andrew Glikson questions the Dual Critique authors’ understanding of the science. Also, the paper’s repeated use of ... More


Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique’ Response to ‘The Stern Review: A Dual Critique’
Nigel Arnell, Rachel Warren & Robert Nicholls, World Economics, March 2007
This article is a response to the articles in the previous issue of World Economics by Carter et al. and Byatt et al., which criticized the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change’s assessment of the potential impacts of climate change. The authors demonstrate t ... More


Response to Carter et al. Response to Carter et al.
John F. Mitchell, Julia Slingo, David S. Lee, Jason A. Lowe & Vicky Pope, World Economics, March 2007
This article has been written at the initiative of UK climate scientists, from both the academic sector and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in response to an article in the previous issue of World Economics by Carter et al., which was part of a ‘D ... More


The Stern Review and the Costs of Climate Change Mitigation The Stern Review and the Costs of Climate Change Mitigation: A response to the ‘Dual Critique’ and the misrepresentations of Tol and Yohe
Dennis Anderson, World Economics, March 2007
Responding to the ‘Dual Critique’, and the Tol and Yohe paper in the previous issue of World Economics, Professor Anderson counters a number of assertions made in those papers including the claims that the Stern Review is ‘alarmist’ or scaremongering, biased in its esti ... More


Ethics of the Discount Rate in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change Ethics of the Discount Rate in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change
Wilfred Beckerman & Cameron Hepburn, World Economics, March 2007
Any comparison of the costs and benefits of climate change is dominated by the chosen discount rate. But, although the Stern Review emphasises the ethical nature of the parameters entering into its choice of a relatively low discount rate, its discussion of the ‘pure ti ... More


REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (2) A Growing International Opportunity to Move Strongly on Climate Change REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (2) A Growing International Opportunity to Move Strongly on Climate Change
Lorraine Hamid, Nicholas Stern & Chris Taylor, World Economics, March 2007
This paper highlights the basic economic principles behind the policy recommendations in the Stern Review and takes forward the analysis and proposals of the Review. It is written in the light of developments since the Review was published, reflecting on interaction wit ... More


REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (1) A Robust Case for Strong Action to Reduce the Risks of Climate Change REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (1) A Robust Case for Strong Action to Reduce the Risks of Climate Change
Simon Dietz, Chris Hope, Nicholas Stern & Dimitri Zenghelis, World Economics, March 2007
Those who deny the importance of strong and urgent action on climate change essentially offer one of, or a combination of, the following arguments. First, there are those who deny the scientific link between human activities and global warming; most people, and the vast ... More


Addressing Climate Change Addressing Climate Change: Is there a role to be played by the IMF?
Peter S. Heller, World Economics, March 2007
Global climate change has moved high on the agenda of key policy makers in many industrial countries. As a “global public good,” a coordinated global response in terms of efforts at mitigation will be critically necessary. Equally, many countries will face serious econo ... More


How Can Norway Become A Climate-Friendly Society? How Can Norway Become A Climate-Friendly Society?
Jørgen Randers & Knut H. Alfsen, World Economics, March 2007
In March 2005, the Norwegian Government appointed a seven-person expert Commission on Low Emissions and asked it to describe how Norway could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by about two–thirds below its Kyoto obligation, by 2050. The Commission delivered its unanimous ... More


A Review of the Stern Review A Review of the Stern Review
Richard S. J. Tol & Gary W. Yohe, World Economics, December 2006
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change was published on 30 October 2006. In this article Richard Tol and Gary Yohe, while agreeing with some of the Review’s conclusions, disagree with some other points raised in the Review and they address six issues in par ... More


The Stern Review: A Dual Critique The Stern Review: A Dual Critique

World Economics, December 2006
The Stern Review, described as the most comprehensive review ever carried out on the economics of climate change, was published on 30 October 2006. The twin papers from a combined team of scientists and economists present a critique in two parts of the Stern Review. Par ... More


Agricultural Reform and Trade Negotiations Agricultural Reform and Trade Negotiations: Can the Doha Round deliver?
Kimberly Ann Elliott, World Economics, December 2006
In this essay, Kim Elliott examines the patterns of support for agriculture across countries and commodities in the industrialized world. She then summarizes the approach to reducing trade-distorting support that came out of the Uruguay Round, and concludes with a discu ... More


Comment Comment
The ‘climate change’ debate: S. Fred Singer responds to the exchange, in the previous issue, between Nicholas Stern and Ian Byatt et al.
World Economics, September 2006
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From The Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Conference to the Suspension of the Negotiations From The Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Conference to the Suspension of the Negotiations: Developing countries reclaim the development content of the WTO Doha Round
Faizel Ismail, World Economics, September 2006
This paper makes an assessment of the WTO Doha Negotiations from the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference until the suspension of the Doha Round at the end of July 2006. The paper analyses the events from a development perspective distinguishing between the perspectives of ... More


Reply to Byatt et al. by Nicholas Stern Reply to Byatt et al. by Nicholas Stern

World Economics, June 2006
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COMMENT: Climate Change COMMENT: Climate Change: The Stern Review ‘OXONIA Papers’: A critique
Sir Ian Byatt, Ian Castles, David Henderson, Lord Lawson of Blaby, Ross McKitrick, Julian Morris, Sir Alan Peacock, Colin Robinson & Lord Skidelsky, World Economics, June 2006
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What is the Economics of Climate Change? What is the Economics of Climate Change?
Sir Nicholas Stern, World Economics, June 2006
A major review of the economics of climate change under the leadership of Professor Sir Nicholas Stern was announced at the end of July 2005, reporting to the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and to the Prime Minister. The Stern Review on the Economics of Cl ... More


Comment Comment: Phillip Crowson on the ‘death of distance’ and natural resource-based economic development in history.

World Economics, March 2006
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Natural Resource-Based Economic Development in History Natural Resource-Based Economic Development in History
Edward B. Barbier, World Economics, September 2005
The role of natural resources in fostering economic development is examined for key historical epochs, from the agricultural revolution in 8,000 BC to the present. Natural resource exploitation has been important to development for most of global history. Depending on w ... More


The Costs of Mitigating Climate Change The Costs of Mitigating Climate Change
Dennis Anderson & Matt Leach, World Economics, September 2005
The paper reviews analyses of the costs of mitigating climate change and discusses the implications for policy. The estimated effects of reducing carbon emissions by 40%–60% over the next half century range from –1.0% to 4.5% of world product, averaging 2½%. This would ... More


Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation
David Pearce, World Economics, September 2005
Biodiversity is important for human wellbeing, but it is declining. Measures to conserve biodiversity are essential but may be a waste of effort if several paradoxes are not addressed. The highest levels of diversity are in nations least able to practise effective co ... More


The Nature of Corruption in Forest Management The Nature of Corruption in Forest Management
Charles Palmer, World Economics, June 2005
Corruption is a well-documented and common feature of natural resource management in the developing world. This article investigates the nature of corruption and whether or not there is such a thing as a ‘tolerable’ level of corruption, particularly where there is an es ... More


Does European Union Environmental Policy Pass a Cost–Benefit Test? Does European Union Environmental Policy Pass a Cost–Benefit Test?
David Pearce, World Economics, September 2004
Most European Union countries are committed to some form of regulatory impact assessment, and in some cases these assessments involve the formal use of cost–benefit analysis. The European Treaty of Union also calls for a comparison of costs and benefits for all Europ ... More


The Morality of Market Mechanisms to Control Pollution The Morality of Market Mechanisms to Control Pollution
Wilfred Beckerman & Joanna Pasek, World Economics, September 2003
The use of pollution charges or tradeable permits to reduce pollution has been condemned by many environmentalists and some philosophers on the grounds that (i) pollution is inherently immoral; (ii) environmental assets are not appropriately valued in monetary terms; ... More


The Economics of the Kyoto Protocol The Economics of the Kyoto Protocol
Michael Grubb, World Economics, September 2003
This paper surveys economic aspects of the Kyoto Protocol, the Treaty adopted to control emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The first part focuses upon the structural aspects of the agreement, with particular attention to the long-te ... More


Valuing the Future Valuing the Future: Recent advances in social discounting
David Pearce, Ben Groom, Cameron Hepburn & Phoebe Koundouri, World Economics, June 2003
One of the most controversial areas of economics is the practice of discounting: attaching a lower weight to future costs and benefits than present costs and benefits. Discounting appears to offend notions of sustainable development and the interests of future genera ... More


Towards a Better Climate Treaty Towards a Better Climate Treaty
Scott Barrett, World Economics, June 2002
The Kyoto Protocol is an example of how not to construct a treaty. Negotiators began by focusing on the short term, agreeing that the industrialized countries should cut their emissions of greenhouse gases by about 5% relative to 1990 by 2008–2012. Then they agreed th ... More


Economists and Sustainable Development Economists and Sustainable Development: The OECD Report on Policies for Sustainable Development
Wilfred Beckerman, World Economics, December 2001
The OECD report is almost exclusively about environmental policy (on which it contains a mass of useful data and discussion). There is, commendably, hardly any discussion of the implications of the usual core condition in consensus definitions of sustainable developm ... More


Wealth as a Criterion for Sustainable Development Wealth as a Criterion for Sustainable Development
Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, World Economics, September 2001
In this article the authors define sustainable development as an economic programme along which social well-being does not decline over time. It can be shown that the requirement is equivalent to the maintenance of a comprehensive measure of wealth, where an economy’ ... More


How Much Damage Will Climate Change Do? How Much Damage Will Climate Change Do?: Recent estimates
Richard S.J. Tol, Samuel Fankhauser, Richard G. Richels & Joel B. Smith, World Economics, December 2000
Two reasons to be concerned about climate change are its unjust distributional impact and its negative aggregate effect on economic growth and welfare. Although our knowledge of the impact of climate change is incomplete and uncertain, economic valuation is difficult an ... More


Biodiversity in the Marketplace Biodiversity in the Marketplace
Geoffrey Heal , World Economics, December 2000
What is the nature of biodiversity as an economic commodity and why does it matter? How would its conservation contribute economically to our well-being? In this article, Geoffrey Heal considers three issues: Why is biodiversity important from an economic perspective? W ... More


Why Did the Protected Areas Fail the Giant Panda? Why Did the Protected Areas Fail the Giant Panda?: The economics of conserving endangered species in developing countries
Timothy M. Swanson & Andreas Kontoleon, World Economics, December 2000
Most biodiversity lies within the developing world, and much of it is under threat because of forces for change within these countries. In order to be effective, biodiversity conservation must be viewed as a development opportunity, rather than as a constraint on devel ... More


Reply to Professor Zimmermann Reply to Professor Zimmermann
Giles Atkinson, World Economics, September 2000
Giles Atkinson replies to Professor Zimmermann’s "A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All?"[World Economics, Vol 1 No 3 July-September 2000] ... More


A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All? A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All?
Horst Zimmermann, World Economics, September 2000
This is a reply to Giles Atkinson’s article ‘Re-thinking Economic Progress’ that appeared in the first issue of World Economics (Vol. 1, No. 1, January – March 2000). Atkinson discussed proposals for the construction of ‘green’ alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GD ... More


Can Agriculture Become an Environmental Asset? Can Agriculture Become an Environmental Asset?
Daniel W. Bromley, World Economics, September 2000
Traditional treatments see agricultural practices as inimical to many environmental attributes in rural areas. In the policy arena, farmers and environmentalists often clash over land-use practices, crop monoculture, animal wastes, and the application of chemicals – th ... More


Market-based Instruments Market-based Instruments: If they’re so good, why aren’t they the norm?
Tannis Seccombe-Hett, World Economics, September 2000
Economists have long recommended market-based instruments for efficient environmental policy-making – taxes, tradable permits, auctions of property rights, etc. So why is progress on them so slow? The reality is that any environmental policy faces many political, insti ... More


Technical Progress and Global Warming Technical Progress and Global Warming: The case for a technology policy
Dennis Anderson, World Economics, September 2000
The case is argued for a larger and more explicit role for technology policies in responding to climate change. Policies and institutions set up during the Cold War arms race could be reformed and redirected towards the goal of making renewable energy a viable competito ... More


Save the Planet: Sell Carbon Save the Planet: Sell Carbon
David Pearce, World Economics, September 2000
This article examines the political economy of agreements on global greenhouse emissions reduction. The author explains the complex emissions trading mechanisms set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and considers the likely size and structure of a future market for emiss ... More


Re-thinking Economic Progress Re-thinking Economic Progress
Giles Atkinson, World Economics, March 2000
Most national governments have pledged a commitment to sustainable development. The transformation of these pledges into policy is a formidable challenge. Of particular interest are proposals for the construction of green alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ... More


Extending the UK National Accounts Extending the UK National Accounts: What can be done?
Amanda Rowlatt, World Economics, March 2000
The national accounts measure economic activity. The UK is developing "satellite accounts" which use the framework of the national accounts but aim to quantify other aspects of living standards. This article starts by comparing satellite accounts with the use of indic ... More