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Viewpoint: Sustainability: Malthus revisited?

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  • James A. Brander

Abstract

The sustainability debate concerns whether the world will experience stable or improving living standards for the foreseeable future, or whether the current trajectory will overtax the natural environment, leading to a `crash' in living standards. This paper selectively reviews relevant research, focusing on both ecological concerns and technological progress, and asks whether susta inability would be problematic without rapid population growth. I suggest that continued demographic transition to lower fertility is the primary requirement for achieving sustainable development. This is, effectively, a modern translation of Malthus (1798) evolution.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Brander, 2007. "Viewpoint: Sustainability: Malthus revisited?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 1-38, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:40:y:2007:i:1:p:1-38
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2007. "Switching to a sustainable efficient extraction path," MPRA Paper 2976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anamika Barua & Bandana Khataniar, 2015. "Strong or weak sustainability: a case study of emerging Asia," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 22(1), pages 1-31, June.
    3. Pani, Ratnakar & Mukhopadhyay, Ujjaini, 2013. "Management accounting approach to analyse energy related CO2 emission: A variance analysis study of top 10 emitters of the world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 639-655.
    4. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2008. "Sustainable growth in a resource-based economy: the extraction-saving relationship," MPRA Paper 12350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Lafuite, A.-S. & Loreau, M., 2017. "Time-delayed biodiversity feedbacks and the sustainability of social-ecological systems," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 351(C), pages 96-108.
    6. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2008. "Sustainable growth: Compatibility between criterion and the initial state," MPRA Paper 9914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2008. "Inconsistency between a criterion and the initial conditions," MPRA Paper 6792, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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