A Sketch of Environmental Macroeconomics

  • Alfred Endres
  • Volker Radke
Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


The neoclassical assumption of unlimited growth possibilities has been questioned by, among others, the Club of Rome, by hinting at the exhaustability of natural productive stocks. The neoclassical rejection of the assumption of natural limits to growth rests on the possibility to substitute for declining natural productive stocks by investing in man-made capital in order to ensure intergenerational justice. The latter is interpreted as constant consumption of goods over time. The idea of intergenerational justice forms the base for the concept of sustainable development, which is, controversially, discussed. Both the flow indices and the stock indices of the SNA have been criticized for neglecting important contributions of the natural environment. As a response to this critique, the United Nations’ System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) is presented. Both the SEEA and various other approaches of integrating the natural environment into national accounting are assessed with regard to their ability to measure progress toward sustainable development.


Sustainability Indicator National Wealth Genuine Saving Accounting Period Natural Asset 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

305507_1_En_10_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (85 kb)
Ch10 (PPTX 86 KB)


  1. Atkinson G, Hamilton K (2007) Progress along the path: evolving issues in the measurement of genuine saving. Environ Resour Econ 37:43–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beca P, Santos R (2010) Measuring sustainable welfare: a new approach to the ISEW. Ecol Econ 69:810–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Costanza R (1991) Ecological economics. The science and management of sustainability. Columbia University Press, New York/OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Daly HE, Cobb JB (1989) For the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future. Beacon, BostonGoogle Scholar
  5. Daly HE, Farley J (2011) Ecological economics. Principles and applications, 2nd edn. Island Press, Washington/Covelo/LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Dixit A, Hammond P, Hoel M (1980) On Hartwick’s rule for regular maximin paths of capital accumulation and resource depletion. Rev Econ Stud 47:551–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Endres A (2011) Environmental economics. Theory and policy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Eurostat (2009) Sustainable development in the European Union. 2009 monitoring report of the EU sustainable development strategy. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Accessed 7 Nov 2011
  9. Hackett SC (2011) Environmental and natural resources economics, 4th edn. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk/LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Hartwick JM (1977) Intergenerational equity and the investing of rents from exhaustible resources. Am Econ Rev 67:972–974Google Scholar
  11. Hicks JR (1939) Value and capital. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Hotelling H (1931) The economics of exhaustible resources. J Polit Econ 39:137–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mäler KG (2007) Wealth and sustainable development: the role of David Pearce. Environ Resour Econ 37:63–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Malthus TR (1999) An essay on the principle of population. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Meadows DH et al (1972) The limits to growth. A report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind. Earth Island, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Rawls J (1971) A theory of justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  17. Solow RM (1974) Intergenerational equity and exhaustible resources. Rev Econ Stud (Symposium on the economics of exhaustible resources):29–45Google Scholar
  18. Stiglitz JE (1974) Growth with exhaustible natural resources: efficient and optimal growth paths. Rev Econ Stud (Symposium on the economics of exhaustible resources):123–137Google Scholar
  19. Tisdell CA (2010) Resource and environmental economics. Modern issues and applications. World Scientific Printers, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  20. UN (United Nations) et al (2003) Handbook of national accounting. Integrated environmental and economic accounting 2003, New York. Accessed 16 June 2011
  21. UN (United Nations) et al (2009) System of national accounts 2008, New York. Accessed 18 June 2011
  22. WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development) (1987) Our common future. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Weitzman ML (1976) On the welfare significance of national product in a dynamic economy. Q J Econ 90:156–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Welfens PJJ, Perret JK, Erdem D et al (2011) Global economic sustainability indicator: analysis and policy options for the Copenhagen process. In: Bleischwitz R (ed) International economics of resource efficiency. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 19–50. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7908-2601-2_2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. World Bank (2011) The changing wealth of nations. Measuring sustainable development in the new millennium, World Bank, Washington, DC. Accessed 29 Mar 2012
  26. WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) (1998) Living planet report 1998. WWF, GlandGoogle Scholar
  27. WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) (2004) Living planet report 2004. WWF, GlandGoogle Scholar
  28. WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) (2006) Living planet report 2006. WWF, GlandGoogle Scholar
  29. WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) (2010) Living planet report 2010. Biodiversity, biocapacity and development. WWF, Gland. Accessed 30 Oct 2011

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HagenHagenGermany
  2. 2.Baden-Wuerttemberg CooperativeState University RavensburgRavensburgGermany

Personalised recommendations