Growth theory and ‘green growth’

Sjak A. Smulders, M. Toman, C.A.A.M. Withagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The relatively new and still amorphous concept of ‘green growth’ can be understood as a call for balancing longer-term investments in sustaining environmental wealth with nearer-term income growth to reduce poverty. We draw on a large body of economic theory available for providing insights on such balancing of income growth and environmental sustainability. We show that there is no a priori assurance of substantial positive spillovers from environmental policies to income growth, or for a monotonic transition to a ‘green steady state’ along an optimal path. The greenness of an optimal growth path can depend heavily on initial conditions, with a variety of different adjustments occurring concurrently along an optimal path. Factor-augmenting technical-change targeting at offsetting resource depletion is critical to sustaining long-term growth within natural limits on the availability of natural resources and environmental services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-446
JournalOxford Review of Economic Policy
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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growth theory
income
resource depletion
economic theory
environmental policy
targeting
Growth theory
Income growth
poverty
natural resource
sustainability
Optimal path

Keywords

  • growth
  • environment
  • natural resources
  • innovation
  • R&D spillovers
  • sustainable development
  • natural capital

Cite this

Smulders, Sjak A. ; Toman, M. ; Withagen, C.A.A.M. / Growth theory and ‘green growth’. In: Oxford Review of Economic Policy. 2014 ; Vol. 30, No. 3. pp. 423-446.
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Growth theory and ‘green growth’. / Smulders, Sjak A.; Toman, M.; Withagen, C.A.A.M.

In: Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2014, p. 423-446.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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