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A Framework for Forest Accounting

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Many recent empirical studies have proposed a variety of forest-related adjustments to the national income accounts. The complexity of forest-economy interactions makes such adjustments prone to double-counting and other problems if they are not guided by economic theory. This paper presents a framework for making internally consistent, theoretically sound adjustments. The framework offers two broad guidelines for applied work. First, one should adjust the overall level of gross domestic product (GDP), and thus net domestic product (NDP), for household consumption of nonmarket forest amenities and nontimber products, but not for production externalities. Accounting for production externalities involves reallocating value added among different production sectors included in GDP. Second, one should adjust NDP for the net accumulation (not just depreciation) of forest-related assets, including the timber stock, the carbon stock, and land converted from forest to other uses. The framework also offers some guidance for methods to quantify values associated with these adjustments. For. Sci. 45(4):552-571.

Keywords: National income accounts; deforestation; net domestic product; timber stocks; valuation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Fellow, Harvard Institute for International Development, 14 Story Street, Cambridge, MA 02138--Phone: (617) 496-0659;, Fax: (617) 496-8040

Publication date: November 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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