Rates of Growth, Limits to Growth and Sustainable Development
Posted: 13 Jul 2013
Date Written: May 22, 2013
This paper begins with an evaluation of the role of different institutions and different starting points on rates of economic growth. This is followed by a critique of the claim, made by pessimists at least since Tertullian, that various factors – population, affluence, technology – impose a limit on growth; evidence is presented that in many cases, increasing population, new technologies and even affluence reinforce the conditions for growth and prosperity to continue. Finally, some real problems are considered: (1) over-abstraction of water and (2) pollution are re-conceptualized as institutional problems best addressed through effective allocation of property rights and suitable liability rules.
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