Optimal Pollution, Optimal Population, and Sustainability
This paper develops a long-run consumer optimization model with endogenous pollution and endogenous population. The positive check increases mortality if pollution increases. The optimal path is sustainable if it provides non-decreasing consumption for a non-decreasing population. As usually, optimality and sustainability may conflict; with population endogenous to pollution, this conflict may ultimately lead the human species toward self-imposed extinction. Not even technical progress can warrant sustainability.
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