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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Nick Barter

This paper aims to discuss natural capital by offering some viewpoints on the economic rationality facilitated by the concept. The paper highlights the likely…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss natural capital by offering some viewpoints on the economic rationality facilitated by the concept. The paper highlights the likely performativity of the concept and, ultimately, how this may impact us.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on existing literature to develop its arguments.

Findings

The concept of natural capital may be necessary and accepted, but it is not benign and it facilitates the expansion of economic rationality to new areas. The paper uses some examples to draw out some potential implications of economic rationality that the concept of natural capital may facilitate that are morally dubious.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is a cautionary note to those who might use the concept of natural capital and offers considerations through the use of examples.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this paper are that users of capitals or natural capital frameworks should consider all the potential outcomes of applying those frameworks and whether they are desirable. In particular, it argues that the application of capital frameworks facilitates the expansion of economic decision logics to those areas that are currently not mediated in such a way and this outcome may not have favorable outcomes.

Social implications

This paper highlights how the use of the concept of natural capital could advance economic rationality to those interactions that are not classically considered economic. It argues that this advance may result in economic rationality being applied to our person-to-person (social) interactions, and, thus, the right and wrong of such interactions is measured via an economic calculation. A result one may not consider desirable but may be unavoidable through applying capitals frameworks.

Originality/value

In drawing on existing literature, the originality lies in its discussion of how natural capital is not a neutral term, its framing will likely have implications.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2019

Peter Jones and Martin George Wynn

This paper aims to review some of the academic literature on the circular economy, natural capital and resilience by tourism and hospitality scholars and to examine how a…

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1913

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review some of the academic literature on the circular economy, natural capital and resilience by tourism and hospitality scholars and to examine how a number of companies and industry bodies within the tourism and hospitality industry have used these concepts in their business operations and development plans.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the importance of sustainability to the tourism and hospitality industry and provides definitions of the concepts of the circular economy, natural capital and resilience. The paper reviews some of the academic literature on these concepts, explores how a number of companies and industry bodies within the tourism and hospitality industry have used them in their business and planning operations and identifies a number of future directions for academic research and managerial contributions.

Findings

The concepts illuminate a range of sustainability challenges and opportunities, and some companies use these concepts in their sustainability strategies and development planning. The current depth of theoretical understanding does not lend itself to management strategies, but one fruitful avenue is to explore how information systems can be better deployed to support these concepts and sustainability management in general.

Originality/value

The paper provides an accessible exploratory review of how academics and companies are focussing on the concepts of the circular economy, natural capital and resilience in the tourism and hospitality industry. As such, it will be of interest to academics, students and practitioners interested in the hospitality industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2021

Soran Mohtadi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the resource rents–quality-adjusted human capital nexus and the impact of quality of institutions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the resource rents–quality-adjusted human capital nexus and the impact of quality of institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

For a large data set of 161 countries for the period 1996–2018 (yearly and 4-year periods), fixed effect estimation method is applied to investigate the impact of resource rents on quality-adjusted human capital and the role of quality of institutions on this relationship.

Findings

The paper found little evidence on the negative, significant and direct impact of total resource rents on quality-adjusted human capital. However, the results show that the negative effect of resource rents can be mediated by the quality of institutions. This result is robust to a long list of controls, different specifications and estimation techniques, as well as several robustness checks. Therefore, institutional quality seems to play a critical role in determining the indirect impact of natural resources on human capital. Moreover, the obtained results demonstrate that this resource adverse effect depends on the type of resource rents; in particular, high dependency on oil rents in developing countries appears to harm human capital.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that it is not obvious that total resource rents decrease human capital and found that the coefficient is no longer significant in the two-way fixed effects model. However, the analysis has emphasized the crucial role of political institutions in this relationship and has shown that countries with higher quality of institutions make the most of their resource rents transiting to a better human capital environment. This result is found to be robust to a list of controls, different specifications and estimation techniques, as well as several robustness checks. In addition, we demonstrate that not all resources affect human capital in the same way and found that oil rents have a significant negative effect on human capital. This is an important distinction since several countries are blessing from oil rents. From this we conclude that the effect of natural resources on human capital varies across different types of commodities. On the other hand, the interaction between institutions and the sub-categories of resource rents shows that oil rents can increase human capital only in developing countries with higher quality of institutions (above the threshold). This result is also still hold while using alternative measures of political institutions.

Practical implications

The results in this paper have important policy implications. In particular, results highlight important heterogeneities in the role resource rents to the economy. As international commodity prices have shown high volatility in recent years, it is important for policy makers to understand the rents. Rents which are the difference between the price of a commodity and the average cost of producing it can have different effects in the economy, including the human capital. It is shown that in countries with low-quality institutions, natural resource rents negatively affect institutional quality, leading to conflicts, corruption and fostering rent-seeking activities. Overall, this reinforces the elite at the power that, obviously, is interested in preserving the status quo. In other words, there is a vicious circle between resource rents and low-quality institutions that impedes institutional change. How to regulate this in the best possible way requires a good understanding of how resource rents are generated and appropriated for different sectors, their different effects and how people react to these rents. The evidence suggests the policy toward better political institutions may help countries to improve social outcomes such as health and education which offer high social returns.

Originality/value

The paper is part of the author's PhD research and is an original contribution.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2013

Eiji Yamamura

This paper aims to investigate whether natural disasters enhance efficiency improvement, capital accumulation and technological progress. Further, this paper examines…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether natural disasters enhance efficiency improvement, capital accumulation and technological progress. Further, this paper examines whether the influence of naturals disasters depends on the legal origin.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, by using long-term panel data, this paper decomposes productivity growth measured by the growth of output per labor unit into three components of efficiency improvement, capital accumulation and technological progress.

Findings

After controlling for countries' specific unobservable characteristics and year-specific effects, the paper found that impacts of natural disasters vary according to specification. However, the natural disasters enhance capital accumulation and technological progress for non-French legal origin countries, while the disasters have no effect on them for French legal origin countries.

Originality/value

The role played by natural disasters on capital accumulation and Schumpeterian creative destruction depends on historical institutional conditions. Hence, it is important to consider the interaction between exogenous shock and institutions when examining economic growth.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

Patrick Bond

The World Bank report Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 is only the most recent reminder of how much poorer Africa is becoming, losing more than US$100 billion annually from…

Abstract

The World Bank report Changing Wealth of Nations 2018 is only the most recent reminder of how much poorer Africa is becoming, losing more than US$100 billion annually from minerals, oil, and gas extraction, according to (quite conservatively framed) environmentally sensitive adjustments of wealth. With popular opposition to socioeconomic, political, and ecological abuses rising rapidly in Africa, a robust debate may be useful: between those practicing anti-extractivist resistance, and those technocrats in states and international agencies who promote “ecological modernization” strategies. The latter typically aim to generate full-cost environmental accounting, and to do so they typically utilize market-related techniques to value, measure, and price nature. Between the grassroots and technocratic standpoints, a layer of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) do not yet appear capable of grappling with anti-extractivist politics with either sufficient intellectual tools or political courage. They instead revert to easier terrains within ecological modernization: revenue transparency, project damage mitigation, Free Prior and Informed Consent (community consultation and permission), and other assimilationist reforms. More attention to political-economic and political-ecological trends – including the end of the commodity super-cycle, worsening climate change, financial turbulence and the potential end of a 40-year long globalization process – might assist anti-extractivist activists and NGO reformers alike. Both could then gravitate to broader, more effective ways of conceptualizing extraction and unequal ecological exchange, especially in Africa’s hardest hit and most extreme sites of devastation.

Details

Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Andrea B. Coulson, Carol A. Adams, Michael N. Nugent and Kathryn Haynes

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of the metaphor of capital, and to chart the development of the multiple capitals concept in the International…

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2098

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of the metaphor of capital, and to chart the development of the multiple capitals concept in the International < IR > Framework and consider how it might develop and be used. In doing so, the paper discusses the implications of the contributions to this special issue in the further development of the capitals concept.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on documents of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and review the literature on capitals to consider the formation of the metaphor of multiple capitals. This is reflected upon while recognising the varied involvement of the authors with the IIRC capitals conception. The challenges of conceiving a multiple capitals framework are critiqued with reference to empirical and theoretical contributions drawn from recognition of planetary boundaries, gendered capitals, power and intersection of capitals and important practical and conceptual insights raised by papers in this special issue.

Findings

The authors find that the agenda of the IIRC is a shift from a “financial capital market system” to an “inclusive capital market system” through recognition of multiple capitals and integrated reporting and thinking. It is emphasised that their vision is not intended as a call for the measurement of these various capitals in monetary terms alone. Through insights from research on planetary boundaries and gendered capitals, the authors critique the potential communsurability of capitals and make visible potential tensions between them. Some of the challenges and opportunities when reporting on multiple capitals are recognised. These include: use of the capitals terminology; analysing connectivity between the capitals; the extent to which value created (and depleted) by each capital should be monetised and highlight possibilities for future research.

Practical implications

Reflecting on the vision of the IIRC, the authors use the critical potential of the metaphor to highlight the IIRC’s vision and understand the role of multiple capitals and potential tensions between them. The authors provide normative insights into the need for engagement on the philosophies of integrated thinking and symbolism of capital and multiple capitals as the way forward.

Originality/value

It is through discussions around multiple capitals – what is in, what is out, how capital is valued – that metaphors will be (re)created. By considering the notion of capital in < IR > and critiquing this with reference to research insights, the authors seek to open up debate on the framing of multiple capitals.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Investors are increasingly interested in the financial value of the natural world and how to fit it into their investment strategies. As well as decreasing carbon…

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Book part
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Les Oxley and Mubashir Qasim

Abstract

Details

Public Policy and Governance Frontiers in New Zealand
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-455-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1999

Werner Hediger

A conceptual and analytical approach is presented to reconcile weak and strong sustainability. It involves a reconsideration of the conception of total capital from an…

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6318

Abstract

A conceptual and analytical approach is presented to reconcile weak and strong sustainability. It involves a reconsideration of the conception of total capital from an ecological‐economic system perspective. In particular, natural capital is classified into non‐renewable resources, renewable resources that are harvested, and those that are not used in production. Strong sustainability is defined in terms of constant environmental quality. Weak sustainability is characterised by non‐decreasing value of aggregate income and environmental quality, and formalised in terms of a “preference‐based social value function”. Ecosystem resilience and basic human needs are introduced as minimum sustainability requirements, and a “sustainability‐based social value function” is proposed, which is sensitive to potentially irreversible changes at the boundaries of the restricted opportunity space. It implies higher values associated to the trade‐offs between income and the environment than the preference‐based function, and the fact that sustainable development is only feasible if both minimum criteria are fulfilled.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 26 no. 7/8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

T.V. Grissom, M. McCord, D. McIlhatton and M. Haran

The purpose of this paper, which is the first of a two-part series, is to build upon the established research on environmental economics and sustainability theory…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, which is the first of a two-part series, is to build upon the established research on environmental economics and sustainability theory developed by Ramsey (1928), Weitzman (2007) and Gollier (2010). The Ramsey-Weitzman-Gollier model, with the contribution of Howarth (2009) and Nordhaus (2007a, b), focuses on discount rate development for environmental and long-term assets, linking discounted utility analysis embedded in the CCAPM model of Lucas (1978) to the policy concerns associated with the valuation of public and sustainable resources. This paper further investigates these issues to the rates structure appropriate for exhaustible resources with a particular emphasis on urban land, based upon the differentiation of strong and weak form sustainability concepts constrained by the objectives of the sustainable criterion of Daly and Cobb (1994).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates the concepts of discount rate development for environmental and long-term assets and discounted utility analysis to the policy concerns associated with the valuation of public and sustainable resources. It develops new theoretical insight in order to allow the theoretical formulation of discount and capitalization rates that can be empirically applied and tested.

Findings

The paper provides theoretical support for a new approach concerned with the development of capitalization and discount rates in the valuation of non-renewable resources. A key concern of valuing non-renewable or limited resource endowments (in space or time) is the problem of irreversible investment or irrevocable decision implementation as suggested by Arrow-Fisher (1974), Krautkraemer (1985) and Daly and Cobb (1994). It investigates the challenge with developing capitalization rates and valuation of depleting resources temporally, within the constraints of sustainability. To achieve this, an optimal control discounting procedure subject to a sustainable objective statement is employed – in this context it suggests that sustainability should be treated as an alternative to traditional growth and the maximization of near-term returns.

Originality/value

This paper extends the construct of developing rates structures appropriate for the valuation of exhaustible resources. It places a conceptual emphasis on urban land development. The measures developed and the insights gained may serve as a basis for future research on the optimal levels of sustainable development appropriate for different nations.

Details

Property Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

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