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The Direction of Technical Change in Capital-Resource Economies

We analyze a multi-sector growth model with directed technical change where man-made capital and exhaustible resources are essen- tial for production. The relative profitability of factor-specific inno- vations endogenously determines whether technical progress will be capital- or resource-augmenting. We show that convergence to bal- anced growth implies zero capital-augmenting innovations: in the long run, the economy exhibits purely resource-augmenting technical change. This result provides sound microfoundations for the broad class of models of exogenous/endogenous growth where resource-aug- menting progress is required to sustain consumption in the long run, contradicting the view that these models are conceptually biased in favor of sustainability.

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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 06/50.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:06-50
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  1. Di Maria, C. & van der Werf, E.H., 2005. "Carbon Leakage Revisited : Unilateral Climate Policy with Directed Technical Change," Discussion Paper 2005-68, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Karen Pittel & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2004. "Private Provision of Public Goods : Incentives for Donations," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 04/34, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  3. Moritz Schularick & Thomas Steger, 2006. "Does Financial Integration Spur EconomicGrowth? New Evidence from the First Era of Financial Globalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1691, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Lucas Bretschger & Thomas M. Steger, 2004. "The dynamics of economic integration: Theory and policy," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 119-134, January.
  5. Christian Groth & Poul Schou, 2002. "Can non-renewable resources alleviate the knife-edge character of endogenous growth?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 386-411, July.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809, October.
  7. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change And Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089, November.
  8. Thomas M. Steger, 2003. "On the Mechanics of Economic Convergence," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 03/25, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  9. Simone Valente, 2004. "Sustainable Development: Renewable Resources and Technological Progress," CEIS Research Paper 54, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  10. Trimborn, Timo & Koch, Karl-Josef & Steger, Thomas M., 2008. "Multidimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 301-319, June.
  11. Edward Barbier, 1999. "Endogenous Growth and Natural Resource Scarcity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 51-74, July.
  12. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2005. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 05/44, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  13. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
  14. Beatriz Gaitan & Terry L. Roe, 2005. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth in a Two Country World," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_052, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  15. Bretschger, Lucas & Steger, Thomas, 2013. "Globalization, The Volatility Of Intermediate Goods Prices, And Economic Growth," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 402-430, March.
  16. Di Maria Corrado & Smulders Sjak A., 2005. "Trade Pessimists vs Technology Optimists: Induced Technical Change and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-27, January.
  17. Bretschger, Lucas, 2005. "Economics of technological change and the natural environment: How effective are innovations as a remedy for resource scarcity?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 148-163, August.
  18. Lucas Bretschger & Sjak Smulders, 2004. "Sustainability and substitution of exhaustible natural resources. How resource prices affect long-term R&D-investments," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 03/26, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  19. Sjak Smulders & Lucas Bretschger & Hannes Egli, 2005. "Economic growth and the diffusion of clean technologies : explaining environmental Kuznets," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 05/42, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  20. Thomas M. Steger, 2003. "Economic Growth and Sectoral Change under Resource Reallocation Costs," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 03/30, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  21. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Labor- And Capital-Augmenting Technical Change," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-37, 03.
  22. 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.
  23. Karen Pittel & Amigues Jean-Pierre & Thomas Kuhn, 2005. "Endogenous growth and recycling : a material balance approach," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 05/37, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
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