IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Exact Measures of Income in a Hyperbolic Economy

  • John C. V. Pezzey


    (Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies
    University of Bath, Department of Economics)

Exact optimal paths are calculated for a closed economy with human-made capital, non-renewable resource depletion and exogenous technical progress in production, hyperbolic utility discounting, and (possibly) hyperbolic technical progress. On its optimal path, generally, welfare-equivalent income > wealth-equivalent income > Sefton-Weale income > NNP, with possibly dramatic differences among these measures; and sustainable income can be greater, equal or less than NNP. This supports the view that there can be no best, exact definition of income. For low enough discounting, growth is optimal even when technical progress is zero. A particular discount rate makes all income measures and consumption constant and (except NNP) equal; and zero technical progress then gives the Solow (1974) maximin as a special case. General problems with calculating sustainable income when there is technical progress are discussed, and the optimal path is time-consistent if the discount rate can depend on the economy's stocks and absolute time.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0203.

in new window

Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0203
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Pezzey, John C V & Withagen, Cees A, 1998. " The Rise, Fall and Sustainability of Capital-Resource Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 513-27, June.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Gamma Discounting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1843, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
  4. Asheim, G.B., 1998. "Green National Accounting: Why and How?," Memorandum 08/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Norman Henderson & Ian Bateman, 1995. "Empirical and public choice evidence for hyperbolic social discount rates and the implications for intergenerational discounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 413-423, June.
  6. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 2000. "Green accounting: from theory to practice," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 13-24, February.
  8. Weitzman, Martin L, 1997. " Sustainability and Technical Progress," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 1-13, March.
  9. Usher, Dan, 1994. "Income and the Hamiltonian," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(2), pages 123-41, June.
  10. Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
  11. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
  14. Asheim, Geir B, 1997. " Adjusting Green NNP to Measure Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(3), pages 355-70, September.
  15. William D. Nordhaus, 2000. "New Directions in National Economic Accounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 259-263, May.
  16. Sefton, J. A. & Weale, M. R., 1996. "The net national product and exhaustible resources: The effects of foreign trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 21-47, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0203. 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: (Jack Pezzey)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.