Nota di Lavoro, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 7.1997
The paper presents a macroeconomic approach to sustainable growth. After clarifying the concept of sustainability, the interdependence between natural resources and accumulated capital stocks such as physical, human, and knowledge capital is discussed. The conditions for the substitution process leading to sustainable development are demonstrated in a one-sector approach and two versions of a multi-sector endogenous growth model. It turns out that prices of natural inputs have their major impact on growth by changing an economy's sectoral structure. The prediction of a successful substitution of knowledge for natural resources emerges to be realistic, provided that the sectoral adjustment costs in the economy are not too high.