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Sustainable Development: Renewable Resources and Technological Progress

  • Simone Valente

    ()

    (Institute of Economic Research, ETH Zurich)

Conflicts between optimality and sustainability are typical in the literature on sustainable development. Using the 'capital-resource' growth model, Pezzey and Withagen (1998) have proved that if natural resources are exhaustible, the time-path of consumption is single-peaked, declining from some point in time onwards. This paper extends the model to include technical progress, resource renewability, extraction costs and population growth. The main result is that, for any constant returns to scale technology, optimal paths can be sustainable only if the social discount rate does not exceed the sum of the rates of resource regeneration and augmentation. The development of resource-saving techniques is crucial for sustaining consumption per capita in the long run, whereas capital depreciation and extraction costs are neutral with respect to this sustainability condition.

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File URL: ftp://www.ceistorvergata.it/repec/rpaper/No-54-Valente.pdf
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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 54.

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Length: 13
Date of creation: 08 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:54
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  1. Jeffrey A. Krautkraemer & JRaymond G. Batina, 1999. "On Sustainability and Intergenerational Transfers with a Renewable Resource," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 167-184.
  2. Heal, G.M., 1995. "Interpreting Sustainability," Papers 95-24, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Mourmouras, Alex, 1993. "Conservationist government policies and intergenerational equity in an overlapping generations model with renewable resources," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 249-268, June.
  4. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
  6. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Sustainable use of renewable resources, Chapter 2.1," MPRA Paper 8815, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. 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.
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