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An Environmental-Economic Measure of Sustainable Development

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  • Robert D. Cairns
  • Vincent Martinet

Abstract

A central issue in the study of sustainable development is the interplay of growth and sacrifice in a dynamic economy. This paper investigates the relationship among current consumption, growth, and sustained consumption in two canonical, stylized economies and in a more general context. It is found that the maximin value measures what is sustainable and provides the limit to growth. Maximin value is interpreted as an environmental-economic carrying capacity and current consumption or utility as an environmental-economic footprint. The time derivative of maximin value is interpreted as net investment in sustainability improvement. It is called durable savings to distinguish it from genuine savings, usually computed with discounted utilitarian prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX in its series EconomiX Working Papers with number 2012-2.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2012-2

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Keywords: sustained development; growth; maximin; sustainability indicator;

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  1. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2007. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 213-229, March.
  2. Burmeister, Edwin & Hammond, P J, 1977. "Maximin Paths of Heterogeneous Capital Accumulation and the Instability of Paradoxical Steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 853-70, May.
  3. Martinet, V. & Doyen, L., 2007. "Sustainability of an economy with an exhaustible resource: A viable control approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 17-39, January.
  4. Antoine D'Autume & Katheline Schubert, 2008. "Zero discounting and optimal paths of depletion of an exhaustible resource with an amenity value," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00976395, HAL.
  5. Vincent Martinet & Luc Doyen, 2012. "Maximin, Viability and Sustainability," Working Papers 163401, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  6. Cairns, Robert D. & Tian, Huilan, 2010. "Sustained development of a society with a renewable resource," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1048-1061, June.
  7. Partha Dasgupta, 2009. "The Welfare Economic Theory of Green National Accounts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 3-38, January.
  8. Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2008. "A Dynamic Analysis of Human Welfare in a Warming Planet," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 1673, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
  10. Tapan Mitra & Geir B. Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz & Cees A. Withagen, 2012. "Characterizing the Sustainability Problem in an Exhaustible Resource Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 3758, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Pezzey, J.C.V.John C. V., 2004. "One-sided sustainability tests with amenities, and changes in technology, trade and population," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 613-631, July.
  12. Asheim, Geir B., 2005. "Can NNP be used for welfare comparisons?," Memorandum, Oslo University, Department of Economics 24/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  13. Asheim, G.B. & Buchholz, W. & Tungodden, B., 1999. "Justifying Sustainability," Papers, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration- 5/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  14. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  15. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
  16. Cairns, Robert D. & Long, Ngo Van, 2006. "Maximin: a direct approach to sustainability," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 275-300, June.
  17. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey & Beltratti, Andrea, 1995. "The Green Golden Rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 175-179, August.
  18. repec:ecl:ucdeco:09-5 is not listed on IDEAS
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