Accounting for natural capital in productivity analysis

Crawford School of Public Policy | Resources, Environment and Development Group
Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Friday 13 March 2020


#132 Crawford Building, Seminar Room 1, 1 Lennox Crossing, ANU


Khanh Hoang


Keith Barney

Australia has experienced 26 consecutive years of positive economic growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). However, while a country’s income could be generated through the depletion of natural capital in the value of GDP, the role of natural capital as an input in traditional measures of multi-factor productivity growth is generally ignored. This raises an important question: how are natural resources being used and will this be a risk to current and future economic development?

My thesis aims to significantly advance the understanding of natural capital as a contributor to economic growth in Australia, by addressing fundamental measurement issues in valuing subsoil assets and agricultural land as inputs into the production process. The preliminary results show that accounting for subsoil assets generated substantial productivity gains for the Australian mining sector by at least 1.0 per cent growth on average per year between 1995-96 to 2015-16. My research also suggests that a quality-adjusted price index of Australian agricultural land revises downward the cumulative price change from 1975 to 2018 by around 140 per cent.

Khanh Hoang is a part-time PhD candidate in the RE&D stream at ANU Crawford School. She presently conducts research in natural capital accounting and productivity analysis. Khanh also works at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the National Accounts Branch where she is involved with producing Australia’s Input-Output tables. With a long career in economic statistics, Khanh uses her knowledge and experience to develop new ways to account for natural capital in traditional economic indicators. Khanh has a Masters degree in actuarial statistics from ANU.

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