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An Environmental-Economic Measure of Sustainable Development

Listed author(s):
  • Robert D. Cairns
  • Vincent Martinet

A central issue in the study of sustainable development is the interplay of growth and sacrifice in a dynamic economy. This paper investigates the relationship among current consumption, growth, and sustained consumption in two canonical, stylized economies and in a more general context. It is found that the maximin value measures what is sustainable and provides the limit to growth. Maximin value is interpreted as an environmental-economic carrying capacity and current consumption or utility as an environmental-economic footprint. The time derivative of maximin value is interpreted as net investment in sustainability improvement. It is called durable savings to distinguish it from genuine savings, usually computed with discounted utilitarian prices.

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File URL: http://economix.fr/pdf/dt/2012/WP_EcoX_2012-02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX in its series EconomiX Working Papers with number 2012-2.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2012-2
Contact details of provider: Postal:
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Web page: http://economix.fr
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  12. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  18. Asheim, G.B. & Buchholz, W. & Tungodden, B., 1999. "Justifying Sustainability," Papers 5/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  19. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-265.
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  23. Cairns, Robert D. & Tian, Huilan, 2010. "Sustained development of a society with a renewable resource," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1048-1061, June.
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  25. Asako, Kazumi, 1980. "Economic growth and environmental pollution under the max-min principle," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 157-183, September.
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