The paper develops a model with non-exponential population growth, nonrenewable natural resources, and endogenous knowledge creation to analyse substitution between primary inputs and an essential use of resources in the innovation sectors, which is generally considered as most unfavourable for growth. We show that population growth and poor input substitution are not detrimental but even needed to obtain sustainable consumption. A permanent increase in living standards can be achieved under free market conditions. With a backstop technology, the system converges to a balanced growth path with classical properties.
Population growth non-renewable resources poor input substitution technical change sustainability