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An Analysis of the World’s Environment and Population Dynamics with Varying Carrying Capacity, Concerns and Skepticism

Due to the open-access nature of the environment we consider an ad hoc adjustment of people’s footprints to the quality of the environment. The adjustment is due to concerns, but hindered by skepticism about announced changes in the state of the environment. Changes in the quality of the environment affect Earth’s carrying capacity. By expanding the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model to include these features we show that despite skepticism the environment-population system does not collapse. We also show that in the ideal case of no skepticism, the interplay between the non-optimally changing environmental concerns and carrying capacity sends the world’s environment and human population on an oscillating course that leads to a unique interior steady state. These results require no further technological, social or international progress.

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File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow090524.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp10-10.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp10-10
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
Web page: http://business.uow.edu.au/econ/index.html
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  1. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  2. Richard Horan & Erwin Bulte, 2004. "Optimal and Open Access Harvesting of Multi-Use Species in a Second-Best World," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(3), pages 251-272, July.
  3. Anderies, John M., 2003. "Economic development, demographics, and renewable resources: a dynamical systems approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 219-246, May.
  4. Richard T. Carson, 2010. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Seeking Empirical Regularity and Theoretical Structure," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 3-23, Winter.
  5. James Andreoni & Arik Levinson, 1998. "The Simple Analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 6739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert Mendelsohn, 2008. "Is the Stern Review an Economic Analysis?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 45-60, Winter.
  7. Jean-Paul Chavas, 2004. "On Impatience, Economic Growth and the Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Dynamic Analysis of Resource Management," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 123-152, June.
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