IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/reveco/v34y2014icp161-174.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How could the non-sustainable Easter Island have been sustained?

Author

Listed:
  • Cyrus Chu, C.Y.
  • Lai, Ching-Chong
  • Liao, Chih-Hsing

Abstract

The collapsing scenario of Easter Island has been analyzed by Brander and Taylor (1998) as a predator–prey model in a Malthusian world, in which the household is only concerned with its instantaneous utility. This paper develops an endogenous growth model with a renewable resource and analyzes the possibly non-sustainable growth as a steady state, in spite of the household being deeply concerned with all its future lifetime utility. Our analysis shows that the ignorance of future lifetimes in present decision-making is indeed crucial to economic non-sustainability. We then examine whether a deforestation tax set by the government could have reduced the resource exploration rate and thereby held back the economic collapse. We also demonstrate using phase-diagrams how such a tax can switch the economic dynamics from non-sustainability to sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Cyrus Chu, C.Y. & Lai, Ching-Chong & Liao, Chih-Hsing, 2014. "How could the non-sustainable Easter Island have been sustained?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 161-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:34:y:2014:i:c:p:161-174
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2014.08.007
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1059056014001099
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yanase, Akihiko, 2011. "Impatience, pollution, and indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1789-1799, October.
    2. Brander, James A & Taylor, M Scott, 1998. "The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 119-138, March.
    3. Dalton, Thomas R. & Coats, R. Morris & Asrabadi, Badiollah R., 2005. "Renewable resources, property-rights regimes and endogenous growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 31-41, January.
    4. Bovenberg, A Lans & Smulders, Sjak A, 1996. "Transitional Impacts of Environmental Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 861-893, November.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    6. Chi-Chur Chao & Pasquale M. Sgro, 2008. "Environmental Control, Wage Inequality and National Welfare for a Tourism Economy," Working Papers 78, Sapienza University of Rome, CIDEI.
    7. World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808.
    8. Chung-Huang Huang & Deqin Cai, 1994. "Constant-returns endogenous growth with pollution control," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(4), pages 383-400, August.
    9. Ligthart, Jenny E. & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1994. "Pollution, the cost of public funds and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 339-349, December.
    10. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Smulders, Sjak, 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 369-391, July.
    11. van Zon, Adriaan & Yetkiner, I. Hakan, 2003. "An endogenous growth model with embodied energy-saving technical change," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 81-103, February.
    12. Chao, Chi-Chur & Laffargue, Jean-Pierre & Sgro, Pasquale M., 2012. "Environmental control, wage inequality and national welfare in a tourism economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 201-207.
    13. Pezzey, John C. V. & Anderies, John M., 2003. "The effect of subsistence on collapse and institutional adaptation in population-resource societies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 299-320, October.
    14. Lans Bovenberg, A. & de Mooij, Ruud A., 1997. "Environmental tax reform and endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 207-237, January.
    15. Itaya, Jun-ichi, 2008. "Can environmental taxation stimulate growth? The role of indeterminacy in endogenous growth models with environmental externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1156-1180, April.
    16. Vella, Eugenia & Dioikitopoulos, Evangelos V. & Kalyvitis, Sarantis, 2015. "Green Spending Reforms, Growth, And Welfare With Endogenous Subjective Discounting," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(06), pages 1240-1260, September.
    17. Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1997. "Transfers, Social Safety Nets, and Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.
    18. Graciela Chichilnisky, 1996. "An axiomatic approach to sustainable development," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(2), pages 231-257, April.
    19. Sarkar, Jayanta, 2007. "Growth dynamics in a model of endogenous time preference," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 528-542.
    20. Jon D. Erickson & John M. Gowdy, 2000. "Resource Use, Institutions, and Sustainability: A Tale of Two Pacific Island Cultures," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(3), pages 345-354.
    21. Jhy-hwa Chen & Ching-chong Lai & Jhy-yuan Shieh, 2003. "Anticipated Environmental Policy and Transitional Dynamics in an Endogenous Growth Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(2), pages 233-254, June.
    22. Laitner, John, 1990. "Tax Changes and Phase Diagrams for an Overlapping Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 193-220, February.
    23. Reuveny, Rafael & Decker, Christopher S., 2000. "Easter Island: historical anecdote or warning for the future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 271-287, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous growth; Environmental policy; Renewable resources;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:34:y:2014:i:c:p:161-174. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620165 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.