Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Some Theory and Evidence
We develop a one-sector endogenous growth model in which renewable natural resources are both a factor of production and measure of environmental quality. Along the balanced growth path, sustained economic growth and a non-deteriorating environment are shown to coexist. Moreover, steady-state economic growth and natural-resource utilization are positively related. Empirically, a cross-country growth regression that includes a broad measure of productive natural resources ¡ª the Ecological Footprint ¡ª provides strong support. Our estimation results also suggest conservation costs are minimal, and growth strategies based on greater physical capital formation and trade openness outperform those relying on more intensive utilization of the environment.
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