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Sustainability and substitution of exhaustible natural resources. How resource prices affect long-term R&D-investments

Traditional resource economics has been criticised for assuming too high elasticities of substitution, not observing material balance principles and relying too much on planner solutions to obtain long-term growth. By analysing a multi-sector R&Dbased endogenous growth model with exhaustible natural resources, labour, and knowledge capital as inputs, the present paper addresses this critique. We study transitional dynamics and the long-term growth path and identify conditions under which firms keep spending on research and development so that growth is sustained. We demonstrate that long-run growth can be sustained under free market conditions even when elasticities of substitution between man-made inputs and resources are low.

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Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 03/26.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:03-26
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  1. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Ruth, Matthias, 1997. "When, where, and by how much do biophysical limits constrain the economic process?: A survey of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-223, September.
  2. Heal, G., 1990. "The Optimal Use Of Exhaustible Resources," Papers fb-_90-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Groth, C. & Schou, P., 2000. "Can Nonrenewable Resources Alleviate the Knife-Edge Character of Endogenous Growth," Papers 00-02, Carleton - School of Public Administration.
  4. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  5. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Other publications TiSEM 6784bb12-71fb-45a5-bf7e-8, School of Economics and Management.
  6. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153411 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Bretschger, Lucas, 1998. "How to substitute in order to sustain: knowledge driven growth under environmental restrictions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 425-442, October.
  8. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1993. "Environmental quality and pollution-saving technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Discussion Paper 1993-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Grimaud, Andre & Rouge, Luc, 2003. "Non-renewable resources and growth with vertical innovations: optimum, equilibrium and economic policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 433-453, March.
  11. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Withagen, Cees & B. Asheim, Geir, 1998. "Characterizing sustainability: The converse of Hartwick's rule," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 159-165, September.
  13. Poul Schou, 2000. "Polluting Non-Renewable Resources and Growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(2), pages 211-227, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Charles I. Jones, . "Growth: With or Without Scale Effects?," Working Papers 99001, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  16. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
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