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Sustainable development, the Hartwick rule and optimal growth

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  • Kirk Hamilton

Abstract

Defining sustainable development as non-declining utility, the consistency of this concept with the Hartwick rule and optimal growth is explored when resources are exhaustible. A simple proof that a generalized Hartwick rule is necessary and sufficient for constant consumption is derived. The existence of a maximal constant consumption path is shown to depend critically on the elasticity of substitution; if this is less than 1, consumption declines; if it is greater than 1 then consumption is not maximal; if it is equal to 1 (the Cobb-Douglas case) then existence is proved. Consumption can increase along an optimal path if the pure rate of time preference is 0; if it is non-zero then consumption declines. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Suggested Citation

  • Kirk Hamilton, 1995. "Sustainable development, the Hartwick rule and optimal growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 393-411, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:4:p:393-411
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00691576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avinash Dixit & Peter Hammond & Michael Hoel, 1980. "On Hartwick's Rule for Regular Maximin Paths of Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 551-556.
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    8. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    9. Dasgupta, Swapan & Mitra, Tapan, 1983. "Intergenerational Equity and Efficient Allocation of Exhaustible Resources," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 133-153, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pender, John L., 1998. "Population growth, agricultural intensification, induced innovation and natural resource sustainability: An application of neoclassical growth theory," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 99-112, September.
    2. Wolfgang Buchholz & Swapan Dasgupta & Tapan Mitra, 2005. "Intertemporal Equity and Hartwick's Rule in an Exhaustible Resource Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 547-561, September.
    3. David Pearce & Giles Atkinson, 1998. "The concept of sustainable development: An evaluation of its usefulness ten years after Brundtland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 134(III), pages 251-269, September.
    4. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Tungodden, Bertil, 2001. "Justifying Sustainability," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 252-268, May.
    5. Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of Environmental Accounting," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12796.
    6. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:114-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Mitra, Tapan, 2002. "Intertemporal Equity and Efficient Allocation of Resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 356-376, December.
    8. Toman, Michael & Pezzey, John C., 2002. "The Economics of Sustainability: A Review of Journal Articles," Discussion Papers dp-02-03, Resources For the Future.
    9. Randall, Alan, 2008. "Is Australia on a sustainability path? Interpreting the clues," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(1), March.
    10. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2007. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 213-229, March.
    11. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Marjan W. Hofkes, 1997. "A Survey of Economic Modelling of Sustainable Development," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-107/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Alessio Emanuele BIONDO, 2010. "A Growth Rate for a Sustainable Economy," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 5(2(12)/Sum), pages 7-20.
    13. Geir Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz & Cees Withagen, 2003. "The Hartwick Rule: Myths and Facts," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(2), pages 129-150, June.
    14. Santopietro, George D., 1998. "Alternative methods for estimating resource rent and depletion cost: the case of Argentina's YPF," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 39-48, March.
    15. Perrings, Charles, 2014. "Environment and development economics 20 years on," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(03), pages 333-366, June.
    16. Withagen, Cees & B. Asheim, Geir, 1998. "Characterizing sustainability: The converse of Hartwick's rule," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 159-165, September.
    17. Kirk Hamilton & Esther Naikal, 2014. "Genuine saving as an indicator of sustainability," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 22, pages 336-347 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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