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National Accounting and Capital

John M. Hartwick, Professor of Economics, Queen’s University, Canada
National Accounting and Capital presents definitive solutions to current problems in national accounting practice. Professor Hartwick deals expertly with problems in accounting natural capital, financial capital and skills capital and communicates his solutions in specially designed national accounting tables or matrices.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 978 1 84064 206 3
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • International Accounting
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
National Accounting and Capital presents definitive solutions to current problems in national accounting practice. Professor Hartwick deals expertly with problems in accounting natural capital, financial capital and skills capital and communicates his solutions in specially designed national accounting tables or matrices.

Key issues discussed include:

• new developments in the theory of green national accounting, particularly the place of natural resource stocks in the national accounts
• the relationship between dollar valued net national product and sustainable income
• an extension of standard treatments of capital, (buildings, machines, etc.), in the national accounts to deal with natural resources, human capital, and financial capital, (equities of banks and other firms and loans from banks to firms)
• the sustainability of the current path of an economy
• the role of capital gains on ‘new’ types of capital in the expression for net national product

In addition, Professor Hartwick indicates how to deal with certain long-standing issues involving services to banks in the national accounts. The accounts are always expressed in a national accounting matrix and this makes for consistency in style. He wishes to persuade readers of the value of this approach.

This book will be of immense use to scholars of national and environmental accounting and practitioners in government statistical agencies, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF.
‘The book is an important contribution to the strictly neoclassical approach to analysing and calculating national income.’
– Michael Harris, The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics

‘. . . an impressive volume that will be essential reference for anyone interested in the construction of consistent national accounts, and for those whose concerns are broader and relate, for example, to the ways in which we might measure notions of “sustainable development”. . . Hartwick’s analysis is challenging and the result of a huge intellectual effort that has done much to change the way we look at our national accounts. National accountants will want to study this volume. Environmental economists will benefit enormously from its welfare analysis.’
– David Pearce, The Economic Journal

‘In this ten-chapter monograph, Professor Hartwick undertakes the difficult but important task of analyzing national accounting. In so doing, he expands the existing literature by addressing issues such as the incorporation of heterogeneous capital – both man-made and natural – and financial services into national accounts, the simultaneous accounting for net national product (NNP) and Net national income (NNI), and welfare dimensions and the greening of national accounts. . . . The extensive use of the Hamiltonian methodological approach in a number of alternative models, the questions posed regarding issues such as the treatment of leisure and labor services in the home, and non-linearities and multiplicity of equilibria, make this monograph extremely useful for researchers both in national accounting and in environmental and resource economics and could provide a stimulating starting point for further research in the economic
and ecological view of sustainability.’
– Anastasios Xepapadeas, Journal of Economic Literature

‘This is an authoritative, path-breaking treatise on national accounting and capital. It will prove extremely useful for researchers and applied economists.’
– Ngo van Long, McGill University, Canada
Contents: Introduction 1. The National Accounts and Capital 2. Integrating Financial-Capital Accounts of Firms into the National Accounts 3. Welfare Considerations in National Accounting 4. Exhaustible Resources 5. Renewable Resources 6. Green National Accounting for an Economy with a Free Access Distortion 7. International Trade 8. Labor, Leisure and Human Capital 9. Technical Change 10. Recapitulation and Questions about Implementation Index