NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Kindergarten Rule of Sustainable Growth

William A. Brock, M. Scott Taylor

NBER Working Paper No. 9597
Issued in April 2003
NBER Program(s):   ITI   EEE

The relationship between economic growth and the environment is not well understood: we have only limited understanding of the basic science involved and very limited data. Because of these difficulties it is especially important to develop a series of relatively simple theoretical models that generate stark predictions. This paper presents one such model where societies implement the Kindergarten rule of sustainable growth.' Following the Kindergarten rule means implementing zero emission technologies in either finite time or asymptotically. The underlying simplicity of the model allows us to provide new predictions linking the path of environmental quality to pollutant characteristics (stocks vs. flows; toxics vs. irritants) and primitives of the economic system. It also provides a novel Environmental Catch-up Hypothesis.

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