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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. 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.
    2. Stern,Nicholas, 2007. "The Economics of Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521700801, November.
    3. R. M. Solow, 1974. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustible Resources," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 41(5), pages 29-45.
    4. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Paper 281, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    5. Partha Dasgupta & Geoffrey Heal, 1974. "The Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 41(5), pages 3-28.
    6. 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.
    7. Mitra, Tapan, 1980. "On Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources: Existence and Characterization Results," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1431-1450, September.
    8. Roger Guesnerie, 2007. "Commentaires sur le rapport Stern : Quelques mots d'introduction," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 117(4), pages 457-462.
    9. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer, 1985. "Optimal Growth, Resource Amenities and the Preservation of Natural Environments," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 52(1), pages 153-169.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cairns, Robert D. & Martinet, Vincent, 2021. "Growth and long-run sustainability," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 381-402, August.
    2. Cairns, Robert D. & Martinet, Vincent, 2014. "An environmental-economic measure of sustainable development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 4-17.
    3. François Allisson & Antoine Missemer, 2020. "Some Historiographical Tools for the Study of Intellectual Legacies," Post-Print halshs-02931492, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Martinet, Vincent & Del Campo, Stellio & Cairns, Robert D., 2022. "Intragenerational inequality aversion and intergenerational equity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    exhaustible resources; Hartwick's rule; intertemporal substitution;
    All these keywords.

    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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