Accounting for goods and for bads: Measuring environmental pressure in a national accounts framework

Mark de Haan

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

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The System of National Accounts contributes to internationally harmonised statistics on the economic functioning of countries. Well known indicators derived from this system are economic growth and per capital national income. As a consequence of the System's main focus on market transactions, the non-priced use of the environment in production an consumption processes remains largely uncovered.This thesis discusses the representation of environmental-economic relationships in national accounting. Much emphasis is given to the measurement of economic pressures at the industry and household level in a so-called National Accounting Matrix including Environmental Accounts (NAMEA). It is shown how national accounting conventions contribute to a sound attribution of pollution to individual economic activities and subsequently to individual economies. A coherent linkage of monetary and physical data in a NAMEA guarantees a consistent comparison of environmental burdens to economic benefits, or environmental benefits to economic costs.It is illustrated how imputations of environmental pressures from production activities to product flows may help to evaluate the environmental consequences of consumption and the international displacement of environmental impacts. Finally it is shown how NAMEA time series may contribute to analysing changes in pollution and waste generation over time. In combination with structural decomposition analysis, the NAMEA provides a helpful information system to disentangle changes in pollution according to several economic driving forces such as economic growth, changes in the production structure, shifting consumer demands and eco-efficiency changes at the level of industries and households.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Steenge, A.E., Supervisor
Award date7 May 2004
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs9035724399
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2004


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