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Sustainable development with stock pollution




Optimal pollution control is an important challenge for sustainable development with three distinct cases. First, the situation where nature's assimilative capacity is completely destroyed involves normative problems that require further research. Second, environmental restoration with initial pollution above the steady-state stock requires an economy to initially allocate a relatively high share of its resources to cleaning-up activities. In return, this generally results in an intertemporally efficient development path that is both environmentally and economically sustainable. Third, optimal trajectories in situations with initial stocks of pollution below the long-term optimum generally imply an increase in pollution and a decline of optimal consumption. In this case, the investment of the environmental rents accruing from nature's assimilative capacity into man-made capital is required in analogy to the famous Hartwick rule to maintain a constant flow of instantaneous welfare. This would facilitate growth in consumption sufficient to compensate for the rising disutility of pollution.

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  • Hediger, Werner, 2009. "Sustainable development with stock pollution," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 759-780, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:06:p:759-780_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Hediger, Werner, 2010. "Welfare and capital-theoretic foundations of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 518-526, August.
    2. Marc Leandri & Mabel Tidball, 2017. "Assessing the sustainability of optimal pollution paths in a world with inertia," Working Papers 2017.10, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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