IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Transitional Dynamics to Optimal Sustainable Growth


  • Musu, Ignazio


This paper presents a simple model of optimal sustainable growth when the environmental stock enters the consumers' utility function and production depends on produced capital and on a flow of environmental services. Endogenous growth is obtained by making the productivity growth of the environmental services dependent on past capital accumulation. Both the effect of environmental preservation on the consumers' utility function and the effect of past capital accumulation on the productivity of environmental services are seen as externalities, which are internalized along an optimal growth path. Optimal growth is sustainable when the use of the environmental asset for production is equal to the regeneration capacity of the environment. The paper describes the features of the optimal sustainable balanced growth path: it is shown that the form of the utility function is crucial in obtaining it. The transitional dynamics to the balanced path are discussed showing that, under not unreasonable assumptions concerning the structure of preferences, the path leading to sustainable balanced growth may either be completely unstable or exhibit indeterminacy. This creates problems in defining an appropriate environmental policy, which is shown to require a combination of emission taxes and a subsidy to capital accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Musu, Ignazio, 1996. "Transitional Dynamics to Optimal Sustainable Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1282

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Faig, Miquel, 1988. "Characterization of the optimal tax on money when it functions as a medium of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 137-148, July.
    2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
    3. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
    4. William J. Baumol, 1952. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: An Inventory Theoretic Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 545-556.
    5. Guidotti, Pablo E. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1993. "The optimal inflation tax when money reduces transactions costs : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-205, April.
    6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1994. "On the welfare cost of inflation," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 94-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. Kimbrough, Kent P, 1986. "Inflation, Employment, and Welfare in the Presence of Transactions Costs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 127-140, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carlo Carraro, 1998. "New Economic Theories," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 365-381, April.
    2. José Manuel Madeira Belbute & Paulo Brito, 2009. "On the Relation Between the Endogenous Growth Rate of the Economy and the Dynamics of Renewable Resources," Economics Working Papers 07_2009, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
    3. F. Cabo, 2001. "Towards an ecological technology for global growth in a North-South trade model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 15-41.
    4. Sjak Smulders, 1995. "Entropy, environment, and endogenous economic growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 319-340, August.
    5. Ricci, Francesco, 2007. "Channels of transmission of environmental policy to economic growth: A survey of the theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 688-699, February.
    6. Donna Ramirez Harrington & Madhu Khanna & David Zilberman, 2005. "Conservation capital and sustainable economic growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 336-359, April.
    7. Maciocco, Giovanni & Dessi, Barbara & Battista Masia, Giovanni & Steingut, Ilene & Venturi, Beatrice, 1999. "Processes of Territorial Transformation: Autopoietic Systems in Planning and the Theory of Chaos," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa415, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Endogenous Growth; Environmental Economics;


    Access and download statistics


    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:cpr:ceprdp:1282. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.