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Islands of Sustainability in Time and Space

  • Kimberly Burnett

    ()

    (University of Hawai‘I Economic Research Organization (UHERO))

  • Lee Endress

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii)

  • Majah-Leah Ravago

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii)

  • James Roumasset

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii)

  • Christopher Wada

    ()

    (University of Hawai‘I Economic Research Organization (UHERO))

We review the economics perspective on sustainable resource use and sustainable development. Under standard conditions, dynamic efficiency leads to sustainability of renewable resources but not the other way around. For the economic-ecological system as a whole, dynamic efficiency and intergenerational equity similarly lead to sustainability, but ad hoc rules of sustainability may well lead to sacrifices in human welfare. We then address the challenges of extending economic sustainability to space as well as time and discuss the factors leading to optimal islands of preservation regarding renewable resources. Exogenous mandates based on moral imperatives such as self-sufficiency and strong sustainability may result in missed win-win opportunities that could improve both the economy and the environment, as well as increase social welfare across generations.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_11-12.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201112.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 14 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201112
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  1. James Roumasset & Nori Tarui, 2010. "Governing the Resource: Scarcity-Induced Institutional Change," Working Papers 201015, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. John C. V. Pezzey, 1997. "Sustainability Constraints versus "Optimality" versus Intertemporal Concern, and Axioms versus Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 448-466.
  3. Geoffrey Heal, 2009. "Climate Economics: A Meta-Review and Some Suggestions for Future Research," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 4-21, Winter.
  4. Majah-Leah Ravago & James Roumasset, 2009. "Economic Policy for Sustainable Growth and Development vs. Greedy Growth and Preservationism," Working Papers 200909, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  5. Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2008. "Optimal harvesting of stochastic spatial resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-18, July.
  6. Geoffrey Heal, 2010. "Reflections--The Economics of Renewable Energy in the United States," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 139-154, Winter.
  7. Endress, Lee H. & Roumasset, James A. & Zhou, Ting, 2005. "Sustainable growth with environmental spillovers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 527-547, December.
  8. Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 1999. "Bioeconomics of Spatial Exploitation in a Patchy Environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 129-150, March.
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