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Population growth and natural resource scarcity: long-run development under seemingly unfavourable conditions

The paper develops a model with non-exponential population growth, nonrenewable natural resources, and endogenous knowledge creation to analyse substitution between primary inputs and an essential use of resources in the innovation sectors, which is generally considered as most unfavourable for growth. We show that population growth and poor input substitution are not detrimental but even needed to obtain sustainable consumption. A permanent increase in living standards can be achieved under free market conditions. With a backstop technology, the system converges to a balanced growth path with classical properties.

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File URL: https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/mtec/cer-eth/cer-eth-dam/documents/working-papers/wp_08_87.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 08/87.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:08-87
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  1. Geir B. Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz & John M. Hartwick & Tapan Mitra & Cees A. Withagen, 2005. "Constant Savings Rates and Quasi-Arithmetic Population Growth under Exhaustible Resource Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 1573, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Kemfert, Claudia, 1998. "Estimated substitution elasticities of a nested CES production function approach for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 249-264, June.
  3. Lopez, Ramon E. & Anriquez, Gustavo & Gulati, Sumeet, 2007. "Structural change and sustainable development," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 307-322, May.
  4. d'Autume, Antoine & Schubert, Katheline, 2008. "Hartwick's rule and maximin paths when the exhaustible resource has an amenity value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 260-274, November.
  5. D. Gale Johnson, 2001. "On Population and Resources: A Comment," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(4), pages 739-747.
  6. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Smulders, Sjak, 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 369-391, July.
  7. Christian Groth, 2000. "Can Nonrenewable Resources Alleviate the Knife-edge Character of Endogenous Growth?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1480, Econometric Society.
  8. 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.
  9. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  10. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2007. "Towards endogenous recombinant growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3459-3477, November.
  11. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Recombinant Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360.
  12. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Christopoulos, Dimitris K. & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2002. "Allocative inefficiency and the capital-energy controversy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 305-318, July.
  14. Christian Scholz & Georg Ziemes, 1999. "Exhaustible Resources, Monopolistic Competition, and Endogenous Growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 169-185, March.
  15. Heal, G., 1990. "The Optimal Use Of Exhaustible Resources," Papers fb-_90-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  16. 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.
  17. Partha Dasgupta, 1995. "The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1879-1902, December.
  18. Groth, Christian & Schou, Poul, 2007. "Growth and non-renewable resources: The different roles of capital and resource taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 80-98, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2005. "Economic growth and the environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1219-1271 Elsevier.
  21. Samuelson, Paul A, 1978. "The Canonical Classical Model of Political Economy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 1415-34, December.
  22. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2005. "Scarcity, growth and R&D," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 484-499, May.
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