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Sustainability and Technical Progress


  • Martin L. Weitzman


A rigorous model connects together the following three basic concepts: (1) “sustainability”— meaning 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; (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 our best present estimates of long‐term sustainability may be largely driven by predictions of future technological progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin L. Weitzman, 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
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9442.00043

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