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Dynamic optimization with a nonsmooth, nonconvex technology: The case of a linear objective function


  • Takashi Kamihigashi

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Santanu Roy

    (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, USA)


This paper studies a one-sector optimal growth model with linear utility in which the production function is only required to be increasing and upper semicontinuous. The model also allows for a general form of irreversible investment. We show that every optimal capital path is strictly monotone until it reaches a steady state; further, it either converges to zero, or reaches a positive steady state in finite time and possibly jumps among different steady states afterwards. We establish conditions for extinction (convergence to zero), survival (boundedness away from zero), and the existence of a critical capital stock below which extinction is possible and above which survival is ensured. These conditions generalize those known for the case of S-shaped production functions. We also show that as the discount factor approaches one, optimal paths converge to a small neighborhood of the capital stock that maximizes sustainable consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Takashi Kamihigashi & Santanu Roy, 2005. "Dynamic optimization with a nonsmooth, nonconvex technology: The case of a linear objective function," Discussion Paper Series 175, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kamihigashi, Takashi, 1999. "Chaotic dynamics in quasi-static systems: theory and applications1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 183-214, March.
    2. Dechert, W. Davis & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1983. "A complete characterization of optimal growth paths in an aggregated model with a non-concave production function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 332-354, December.
    3. Skiba, A K, 1978. "Optimal Growth with a Convex-Concave Production Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(3), pages 527-539, May.
    4. McKenzie, Lionel W., 2005. "Optimal economic growth, turnpike theorems and comparative dynamics," Handbook of Mathematical Economics,in: K. J. Arrow & M.D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 2, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1281-1355 Elsevier.
    5. T.N. Srinivasan, 1962. "On a Two Sector Model of Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 139R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
    7. Spence, A Michael & Starrett, David, 1975. "Most Rapid Approach Paths in Accumulation Problems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 388-403, June.
    8. Majumdar, Mukul & Mitra, Tapan, 1982. "Intertemporal allocation with a non-convex technology: The aggregative framework," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 101-136, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takashi Kamihigashi & Taiji Furusawa, 2006. "Immediately Reactive Equilibria in Infinitely Repeated Games with Additively Separable Continuous Payoffs," Discussion Paper Series 199, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    2. Takashi Kamihigashi, 2014. "Elementary results on solutions to the bellman equation of dynamic programming: existence, uniqueness, and convergence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(2), pages 251-273, June.
    3. Kamihigashi, Takashi & Roy, Santanu, 2007. "A nonsmooth, nonconvex model of optimal growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 435-460, January.
    4. Takashi Kamihigashi & Taiji Furusawa, 2007. "Global Dynamics in Infinitely Repeated Games with Additively Separable Continuous Payoffs," Discussion Paper Series 210, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00267100 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. N. Hung & C. Le Van & P. Michel, 2009. "Non-convex aggregate technology and optimal economic growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(3), pages 457-471, September.
    7. Michetti, Elisabetta, 2015. "Complex attractors and basins in a growth model with nonconcave production function and logistic population growth rate," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 215-232.
    8. Ken-Ichi Akao & Takashi Kamihigashi & Kazuo Nishimura, 2015. "Critical Capital Stock in a Continuous-Time Growth Model with a Convex-Concave Production Function," Discussion Paper Series DP2015-39, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    9. Vassili Kolokoltsov & Wei Yang, 2012. "Turnpike Theorems for Markov Games," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 294-312, September.
    10. Serena Brianzoni & Cristiana Mammana & Elisabetta Michetti, 2012. "Local and Global Dynamics in a Discrete Time Growth Model with Nonconcave Production Function," Working Papers 70-2012, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised Sep 2015.
    11. La Grandville, O. de, 2014. "Optimal growth theory: Challenging problems and suggested answers," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 608-611.

    More about this item


    Nonconvex; nonsmooth; and discontinuous technology; Extinction; Survival; Turnpike; Linear utility;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General


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