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The Hartwick rule : myths and facts

  • Asheim,G.B.
  • Buchholz,W.

    (University of Oslo, Department of Economics)

We consider the Hartwick rule for capital accumulation and resource depletion, provide semantic clarifications and investigate whether this rule indicates sustainability and requires substitutability between manmade and natural capital. In addition to shedding light on the meaning of the Hartwick rule by reviewing established results, we establish the following novel finding: The value of net investments being negative does not imply that utility is unsustainable. Throughout we make the assumption of a constant technology, without which the Hartwick rule does not apply.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2000/Memo-11-2000.pdf
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Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 11/2000.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2000_011
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.htmlEmail:


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  1. John C. V. Pezzey, 2002. "One-sided Unsustainability Tests and NNP Measurement with Multiple Consumption Goods," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0208, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  2. John Hartwick, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investment of Rents from Exhaustible Resources in a Two Sector Model," Working Papers 281, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Heal, G., 1990. "The Optimal Use Of Exhaustible Resources," Papers fb-_90-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  4. Dasgupta, Swapan & Mitra, Tapan, 1983. "Intergenerational Equity and Efficient Allocation of Exhaustible Resources," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 133-53, February.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
  6. Withagen, Cees & B. Asheim, Geir, 1998. "Characterizing sustainability: The converse of Hartwick's rule," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 159-165, September.
  7. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
  8. Cass, David & Mitra, Tapan, 1991. "Indefinitely Sustained Consumption Despite Exhaustible Natural Resources," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 119-46, April.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521297615 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Vellinga, Nico & Withagen, Cees, 1996. "On the Concept of Green National Income," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 499-514, October.
  11. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3107027 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Hanley, Nick & Shogren, Jason & White, Ben, 2013. "Introduction to Environmental Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199568734, March.
  13. Dixit, Avinash & Hammond, Peter & Hoel, Michael, 1980. "On Hartwick's Rule for Regular Maximin Paths of Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 551-56, April.
  14. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
  15. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Pezzey, John C V & Withagen, Cees A, 1998. " The Rise, Fall and Sustainability of Capital-Resource Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 513-27, June.
  17. Swapan Dasgupta & Tapan Mitra, 1999. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 422-442, December.
  18. Kirk Hamilton, 1995. "Sustainable development, the Hartwick rule and optimal growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 393-411, June.
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