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An analysis of the world's environment and population dynamics with varying carrying capacity, concerns and skepticism

  • Berck, Peter
  • Levy, Amnon
  • Chowdhury, Khorshed

Because of the open-access nature of the environment we consider an ad hoc adjustment of people's environmental footprint to the quality of the environment. The adjustment is motivated by environmental concern, but hindered by skepticism about announced changes in the state of the environment. Changes in the quality of the environment affect Earth's carrying capacity. By expanding the Lotka–Volterra predator–prey model to include these features we show that, despite skepticism, the environment does not deteriorate to a state in which humans cannot exist. We also show that in the ideal case of no skepticism, the interplay between the non-optimally changing environmental concerns and carrying capacity leads the world's environment and human population to a unique interior steady state along an oscillating course. These results require no further technological, social or international progress.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 73 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 103-112

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:73:y:2012:i:c:p:103-112
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
  2. Richard Horan & Erwin Bulte, 2004. "Optimal and Open Access Harvesting of Multi-Use Species in a Second-Best World," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(3), pages 251-272, July.
  3. Anderies, John M., 2003. "Economic development, demographics, and renewable resources: a dynamical systems approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 219-246, May.
  4. Richard T. Carson, 2010. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Seeking Empirical Regularity and Theoretical Structure," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 3-23, Winter.
  5. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  6. Robert Mendelsohn, 2008. "Is the Stern Review an Economic Analysis?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 45-60, Winter.
  7. Jean-Paul Chavas, 2004. "On Impatience, Economic Growth and the Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Dynamic Analysis of Resource Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 123-152, June.
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