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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