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Technological change, population dynamics, and natural resource depletion

Listed author(s):
  • Schäfer, Andreas
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    In this paper, we integrate fertility and educational choices into a scale-invariant model of directed technological change with non-renewable natural resources, in order to reveal the interaction between population dynamics, technological change, and natural resource depletion. In line with empirical regularities, skill-biased technological change induces a decline in population growth and a transitory increase in the depletion rate of natural resources. In the long-run, the depletion rate also declines in the skill intensity. A decline in population growth is harmful for long-run productivity growth, if R&D is subject to diminishing technological opportunities. The effectiveness of economic policies aimed at sustained economic growth thus hinges on its impact on long-run population growth given the sign of intertemporal spillovers in R&D with respect to existing technological knowledge. We demonstrate that an increase in relative research productivities or an education subsidy enhances long-run growth, if R&D is subject to diminishing technological opportunities, while an increase in the teacher–student ratio is preferable in terms of positive intertemporal knowledge spillovers.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165489614000481
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 122-136

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:71:y:2014:i:c:p:122-136
    DOI: 10.1016/j.mathsocsci.2014.06.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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