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Optimal Pollution, Optimal Population, and Sustainability

Ulla Lehmijoki

DEGIT Conference Papers from DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade

Abstract: This paper develops a long-run consumer optimization model with endogenous pollution and endogenous population. The positive check increases mortality if pollution increases. The optimal path is sustainable if it provides non-decreasing consumption for a non-decreasing population. As usually, optimality and sustainability may conflict; with population endogenous to pollution, this conflict may ultimately lead the human species toward self-imposed extinction. Not even technical progress can warrant sustainability.

Keywords: sustainable development; mortality; optimal pollution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 Q01 Q53 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2012-09
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