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Natural resource scarcity and long-run development: central mechanisms when conditions are seemingly unfavourable

Using a dynamic model with non-renewable natural resources and endogenous knowledge creation, the paper analyses economic development under conditions which are generally considered as most unfavourable. We assume poor substitution between primary input factors, positive population growth and a limited supply of materials in the static part of the framework, as well as natural resources being an essential input into R&D, and constant or decreasing returns to innovative activities in the dynamic part. It is shown that there is an inverse relationship between input substitution and growth-enhancing sectoral change and that labour supply supports economic dynamics through the knowledge-creation effect. A permanent increase in living standards is achievable under free market conditions, but adjustment costs and errors in long-term expectations might impede this development.

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File URL: http://www.cer.ethz.ch/research/wp_03_29_june05.pdf
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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 03/29.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:03-29
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  1. 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.
  2. Christian Groth & Poul Schou, 2000. "Can Nonrenewable Resources Alleviate the Knife-edge Character of Endogenous Growth," Discussion Papers 00-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  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, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
  7. Robert Tamura, 2000. "Growth, fertility and human capital: A survey," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 183-229.
  8. 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.
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