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Growth on a Finite Planet: Resources, Technology and Population in the Long Run

  • Pietro F. Peretto
  • Simone Valente

We characterize the interactions between technological change, natural resource scarcity and population dynamics in a Schumpeterian model with endogenous fertility choices. We show that there exists a pseudo-Malthusian equilibrium in which population is constant and income grows at a constant rate: the equilibrium population level is determined by resource scarcity but is independent of technology. The stability properties are driven by (i) the income reaction to increased resource scarcity and (ii) the fertility response to income dynamics, and ultimately depend on whether labor and resources are complements or substitutes in production. Under substitutability, the pseudo-Malthusian equilibrium is a global attractor. Under complementarity, population follows diverging paths of explosion or implosion.

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File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_15/c015_008.pdf
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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_008.

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Length: 27 pages JEL Classification: Endogenous Innovation, Resource Scarcity, Population Growth, Fertility Choices
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_008
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  1. Connolly, Michelle & Peretto, Pietro F, 2003. " Industry and the Family: Two Engines of Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 115-48, March.
  2. Peretto, Pietro F., 1996. "Technological Change and Population Growth," Working Papers 96-28, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Di Maria, Corrado & Valente, Simone, 2006. "The Direction of Technical Change in Capital-Resource Economies," MPRA Paper 1040, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Oded Galor, 2005. "Unified Growth Theory," Development and Comp Systems 0504001, EconWPA.
  6. Wang, Ping & Yip, Chong K & Scotese, Carol A, 1994. "Fertility Choice and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 255-66, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Jakob Madsen & James Ang & Rajabrata Banerjee, 2010. "Four centuries of British economic growth: the roles of technology and population," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 263-290, December.
  9. Nerlove, Marc & Raut, Lakshmi K., 1993. "Growth models with endogenous population: A general framework," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1117-1174 Elsevier.
  10. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition," NBER Working Papers 8685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, 04.
  13. D'Alessandro, Simone, 2007. "Non-linear dynamics of population and natural resources: The emergence of different patterns of development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 473-481, May.
  14. Pietro F. Peretto, 2010. "Is the 'Curse of Natural Resources' Really a Curse?," Working Papers 10-18, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  15. Pietro Peretto & Michelle Connolly, 2007. "The Manhattan Metaphor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 329-350, December.
  16. M. Scott Taylor, 2009. "Innis Lecture: Environmental crises: past, present, and future," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1240-1275, November.
  17. Lucas Bretschger, 2008. "Population growth and natural resource scarcity: long-run development under seemingly unfavourable conditions," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/87, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  18. Christian Scholz & Georg Ziemes, 1999. "Exhaustible Resources, Monopolistic Competition, and Endogenous Growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 169-185, March.
  19. Harford, Jon D., 2000. "Methods of pricing common property use and some implications for optimal child-bearing and the social discount rate," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 103-124, May.
  20. Christopher Laincz & Pietro Peretto, 2006. "Scale effects in endogenous growth theory: an error of aggregation not specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-288, September.
  21. Edward Barbier, 1999. "Endogenous Growth and Natural Resource Scarcity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 51-74, July.
  22. Dinopoulos, Elias & Thompson, Peter, 1998. " Schumpeterian Growth without Scale Effects," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 313-35, December.
  23. James B. Ang & Jakob B. Madsen, 2011. "Can Second-Generation Endogenous Growth Models Explain the Productivity Trends and Knowledge Production in the Asian Miracle Economies?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1360-1373, November.
  24. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153411 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Pietro Peretto & Sjak Smulders, 2002. "Technological Distance, Growth And Scale Effects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 603-624, July.
  26. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2008. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Working Papers 14266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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 119-38, March.
  28. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-1, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
  29. Jakob Madsen, 2008. "Semi-endogenous versus Schumpeterian growth models: testing the knowledge production function using international data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-26, March.
  30. David H. Good & Rafael Reuveny, 2009. "On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 863-879.
  31. Grimaud, Andre & Rouge, Luc, 2005. "Polluting non-renewable resources, innovation and growth: welfare and environmental policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 109-129, June.
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