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Bretschger, Lucas
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Economics Working Paper Series 16/260
The paper develops an integrated baseline model to assess the trade-offs be- tween the natural environment and economic growth. Consumption growth is considered under welfare and sustainability aspects. The framework features capital accumulation and the sectoral structure of the economy as key elements to cope with resource scarcity and pollution. Model extensions varying the num- ber of sectors and inputs, changing central functional forms, and introducing poor input substitution and population growth are presented. The setup high- lights the dual role of used inputs as a source of environmental problems and a part of the solution; it also discusses uncertainty and momentum effects. The paper concludes that the environment and economic growth can be compatible but that small deviations from the optimal paths my entail unsustainable de- velopment. Critical issues for sustainability are insufficient foresight, increasing damage intensity, and suboptimal policy making while population growth and poor input substitution are not necessarily precarious for future development.
Natural environment
endogenous growth
multisector model
poor substitution
population growth
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Working Paper
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