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The Effect of Subsistence on Collapse and Institutional Adaptation in Population-resource Societies

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Author Info

  • John C. V. Pezzey

    ()
    (Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies
    University of Bath, Department of Economics)

  • John M. Anderies

    ()
    (Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation, Sustainable Ecosystems)

Abstract

We extend the Brander-Taylor model of population and resource development in an isolated society by adding a resource subsistence requirement to people's preferences. This improves plausibility; amplifies population overshoot and collapse, and makes the steady state less stable; and allows for complete cessation of non-harvesting activities, in line with archaeological evidence for many societies. We then use bifurcation techniques to give a global analysis of four types of institutional adaptation: an ad valorem resource tax, and quotas on total resource harvest, total harvest effort and per capita effort. In all cases we find that a higher subsistence requirement makes it harder, or often impossible, for adaptation to avoid overshoot and collapse.

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File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/een0201.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0201.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0201

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Web page: http://een.anu.edu.au/

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Keywords: population ; renewable resources; subsistence; bifurcation; conservation;

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  1. R. Morris Coats & Thomas R. Dalton, 2000. "Could institutional reform have saved Easter Island?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(5), pages 489-505.
  2. Reuveny, Rafael & Decker, Christopher S., 2000. "Easter Island: historical anecdote or warning for the future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 271-287, November.
  3. Jon D. Erickson & John M. Gowdy, 2000. "Resource Use, Institutions, and Sustainability: A Tale of Two Pacific Island Cultures," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(3), pages 345-354.
  4. Brander, James A & Taylor, M Scott, 1998. "The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 119-38, March.
  5. Koopmans, Tjalling C, 1977. "Concepts of Optimality and Their Uses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 261-74, June.
  6. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  7. Steger, Thomas M., 2000. "Economic growth with subsistence consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 343-361, August.
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Cited by:
  1. James A. Brander, 2007. "Viewpoint: Sustainability: Malthus revisited?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 1-38, February.
  2. Stefan Baumgaertner & Moritz A. Drupp & Martin F. Quaas, 2013. "Subsistence and substitutability in consumer preferences," Working Paper Series in Economics 290, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Barzin Pakandam, 2009. "Why Easter Island collapsed: an answer for an enduring question," Economic History Working Papers 27864, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  4. Bulte, Erwin & Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F., 2006. "Megafauna extinction: A paleoeconomic theory of human overkill in the pleistocene," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 297-323, March.
  5. D'Alessandro, Simone, 2007. "Non-linear dynamics of population and natural resources: The emergence of different patterns of development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 473-481, May.
  6. David, DE LA CROIX & Davide, DOTTORI, 2007. "Easter Island’s Collapse : A Tale of a Population Race," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007005, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  7. Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F. & Bulte, Erwin H., 2008. "Competitive Exclusion, Diversification, and the Origins of Agriculture," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6410, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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