The Kindergarten Rule of Sustainable Growth
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.