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The Role of Material/Energy Resources and Dematerialisation in Economic Growth Theories

Robert U. Ayres and Jeroen van den Bergh
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Robert U. Ayres: INSEAD

No 00-068/3, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: The nature of energy and material resources in an endogenous growththeory framework isclarified. This involves three modifications of the conventionaltheory. Firstly, multiple feedbackmechanisms or “growth engines” are identified. Secondly, a productionfunction distinguishesbetween resource use, technical efficiency and value creation.Thirdly, the impact of the cost ofproduction through demand on growth is accounted for. A formal modelis analytically solvedunder a condition of a constant growth rate. Given model complexity,numerical experiments areperformed as well, providing relevant insights to the academic andpolitical debates on‘environmental Kuznets curves’ and ‘dematerialization’.

Keywords: dematerialization; environmental Kuznets curve; feedback mechanisms; production function specification; resource scarcity; value creation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O11 O33 O41 Q32 Q43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000-08-01
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