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Endogenous Growth, Backstop Technology Adoption and Optimal Jumps



We study a two-phase endogenous growth model in which the adoption of a backstop technology (e.g. solar) yields a sustained supply of essential energy inputs previously obtained from exhaustible resources (e.g. oil). Growth is knowledge-driven and the optimal timing of technology switching is determined by welfare maximization. The optimal path exhibits discrete jumps in endogenous variables: technology switching implies sudden reductions in consumption and output, an increase in the growth rate, and instantaneous adjustments in saving rates. Due to the positive growth e¤ect, it is optimal to implement the new technology when its current consumption bene.ts are substantially lower than those generated by old technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Valente, 2009. "Endogenous Growth, Backstop Technology Adoption and Optimal Jumps," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/104, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:09-104

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

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    1. Should we adopt solar energy before it is more efficient than fuel energy?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-03-12 23:00:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Gerard van der Meijden & Sjak Smulders, 2014. "Technological Change during the Energy Transition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-108/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Bonneuil, N. & Boucekkine, R., 2016. "Optimal transition to renewable energy with threshold of irreversible pollution," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(1), pages 257-262.
    3. Raouf Boucekkine & Aude Pommeret & Fabien Prieur, 2012. "Optimal Regime Switching and Threshold Effects: Theory and Application to a Resource Extraction Problem under Irreversibility," Working Papers 12-14, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised May 2012.
    4. Zon A.H. van & David P.A., 2013. "Designing an optimal 'tech fix' path to global climate stability : directed R&D and embodied technical change in a multi‐phase framework," MERIT Working Papers 041, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Lucas Bretschger & Simone Valente, 2016. "Productivity Gaps and Tax Policies Under Asymmetric Trade," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 16/239, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Long, Ngo Van & Prieur, Fabien & Tidball, Mabel & Puzon, Klarizze, 2017. "Piecewise closed-loop equilibria in differential games with regime switching strategies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 264-284.
    7. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2010. "Trade and welfare: Does industrial organization matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 85-87, November.
    8. Raul Barreto, 2015. "Fossil fuels, alternative energy and economic growth," EcoMod2015 8372, EcoMod.
    9. Ngo Van Long & Fabien Prieur & Klarizze Puzon & Mabel Tidball, 2013. "Markov Perfect Equilibria in Differential Games with Regime Switching Strategies," Working Papers 13-06, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jan 2014.
    10. Boucekkine, R. & Pommeret, A. & Prieur, F., 2013. "Optimal regime switching and threshold effects," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2979-2997.
    11. van der Meijden, G.C., 2013. "The macroeconomic dynamics of trade liberalization, resource exploitation, and backstop technologies," Other publications TiSEM 988fc892-3596-4af3-9964-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item


    Backstop technology; Discrete jumps; Endogenous growth; Exhaustible resources; Optimal Control;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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