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Some Further Economics of Easter Island: Adding Subsistence and Resource Conservation

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  • John C. V. Pezzey

    ()
    (Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University)

  • John M. Anderies

    ()
    (Sustainable Ecosystems Division, CSIRO)

Abstract

We extend Brander-Taylor's model of development on Easter Island by adding a resource subsistence requirement to people's preferences, and a conservation incentive in the form of a revenue-neutral, ad valorem tax on resource consumption. Adding subsistence improves plausibility; makes overshoot and collapse of population more extreme, and the steady state less stable; and allows for the possibility that statue building and erection will suddenly stop, in line with the archaeological evidence. We find a tax rate path which almost completely prevents overshoot, and conjecture that the overall strength of this path must rise when the subsistence level rises.

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Paper provided by Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program in its series Working Papers in Ecological Economics with number 0002.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:anu:wpieep:0002

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Web page: http://incres.anu.edu.au/EEP/wp.html

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  1. Koopmans, Tjalling C, 1976. " Concepts of Optimality and Their Uses," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(4), pages 542-60.
  2. 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.
  3. John Pezzey, 1992. "Sustainability: an interdisciplinary guide," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 1(4), pages 321-362, November.
  4. 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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