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Sustainability and Technical Progress


  • Weitzman, Martin L


A rigorous model connects together the following three basic concepts: (1) 'sustainability'--measuring the generalized future power of an economy to consume over time; (2) 'green NNP'--meaning a current measure of national income that subtracts off from GNP not just depreciation of capital but also, more generally, depletion of environmental assets evaluated at current efficiency prices; and (3) 'technological progress'--meaning a projection onto the future of the so-called 'Solow residual.' A simple general formula is derived. Some crude calculations suggest a possibly strong effect of the residual, which hints that the author's best present estimates of long-term sustainability may be largely driven by predictions of future technological progress. Copyright 1997 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Weitzman, Martin L, 1997. " Sustainability and Technical Progress," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 1-13, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:99:y:1997:i:1:p:1-13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1995. " A Theory of the Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 495-526, December.
    2. Braconier, Henrik & Holden, Steinar, 1999. "The Public Budget Balance - Fiscal Indicators and Cyclical Sensitivity in the Nordic Countries," Working Papers 67, National Institute of Economic Research.
    3. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 73-95, March.
    4. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
    5. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-185, March.
    6. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005, June.
    7. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    8. Jonathan Coppel & Martine Durand, 1999. "Trends in Market Openness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 221, OECD Publishing.
    9. Wildasin, David E, 1995. " Factor Mobility, Risk and Redistribution in the Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 527-546, December.
    10. van der ploeg, F., 1987. "Coordination of optimal taxation in a two-country equilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 279-285.
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