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Zero discounting and optimal paths of depletion of an exhaustible resource with an amenity value

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  • Antoine d’Autume
  • Katheline Schubert

Abstract

This paper studies the undiscounted utilitarian optimal paths of the canonicalDasgupta-Heal-Solow model when the stock of natural capital is a direct argument ofwell-being, besides consumption. We use a Keynes-Ramsey rule which yields a generalization of Hartwick’s rule : if society has a zero discount rate but is ready to acceptintertemporal substitution, net investment should not be zero as in the maximin casebut should be positive, its level depending on the distance between the current and thelong run bliss level of utility. We characterize solutions in the Cobb-Douglas utility andproduction case, and analyse the influence of the intertemporal elasticity of substitutionon the time profile of the optimal paths. We show that, in the Cobb-Douglas case, theratio of the values of the resource and capital stocks remains constant along the optimal path, and is independent of initial conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine d’Autume & Katheline Schubert, 2008. "Zero discounting and optimal paths of depletion of an exhaustible resource with an amenity value," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(6), pages 827-845.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_186_0827
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    2. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    3. Mitra, Tapan, 1980. "On Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources: Existence and Characterization Results," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1431-1450, September.
    4. d'Autume, Antoine & Schubert, Katheline, 2008. "Hartwick's rule and maximin paths when the exhaustible resource has an amenity value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 260-274, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. d'Autume, Antoine & Hartwick, John M. & Schubert, Katheline, 2010. "The zero discounting and maximin optimal paths in a simple model of global warming," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 193-207, March.
    2. Cairns, Robert D. & Martinet, Vincent, 2014. "An environmental-economic measure of sustainable development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 4-17.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exhaustible resources; Hartwick's rule; intertemporal substitution;

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

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