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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Ecosystem services and regional development: An application to Sweden

Gren, Ing-Marie; Isacs, Lina


This study carries out interregional comparisons of development and sustainable use of natural capital with and without inclusion of non-marketed ecosystem services. A simple dynamic model of an open economy shows that appropriate adjustment of conventional income accounts includes flow and stock components, but excludes explicit entrance of pollution. Calculations are made for Swedish regions and for two types of ecosystem services - pollution sequestration and recreational services - provided by three types of ecosystems: forests, agricultural landscape and wetlands. When comparing the adjusted and non-adjusted regional income accounts it is shown that the two measurements generate significantly different pictures of regional income and growth: regions that are traditionally considered as relatively less growth promoting are shown to hold important sources of wealth from natural capital, while counties that are rich in conventional accounts fall behind when adjusting for values of changes in natural capital. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ecosystem services; Regional green accounting; Growth; Sustainable development; Sweden

Published in

Ecological Economics
2009, volume: 68, number: 10, pages: 2549-2559

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Isacs, Lina

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics and Business
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Social Sciences

Publication Identifiers


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