Through scarcity to prosperity: Toward a theory of sustainable growth

Journal Article (Journal Article)

To make progress toward a comprehensive theory of sustainable growth, this paper integrates fertility choice and exhaustible resource dynamics in a tractable model of endogenous technological change. The model identifies conditions under which the interdependence of population, resources and technology produces a transition that consists of three phases: (1) an initial phase where agents exploit exhaustible natural resources to support population growth; (2) an intermediate phase where agents turn on the Schumpeterian engine of endogenous innovation in response to population-led market expansion; (3) a terminal phase where knowledge accumulation becomes the sole engine of growth. The last phase is crucial: not only economic growth no longer requires growth of physical inputs, but technological change also compensates for the exhaustion of the natural resource.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Peretto, PF

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 117 /

Start / End Page

  • 243 - 257

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3932

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2020.01.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus