Keywords: economic growth rate, endogenous growth, material balance principle, environmental problems, law of mass conservation, environmental pollution, optimal growth rates, laissez-faire economy
Endogenous growth with material balance principle
This paper considers how environmental problems affect economic growth. In order to explain the relationship between the economy and the environment, we impose the law of mass conservation and its corollary, the mass balance principle, and consider pollution from both production and consumption sectors. Utilising a model which incorporates the material balance principle on endogenous growth theory, we obtain the following results: where environmental problems are not serious, optimal economic growth rates at a steady state rise as these problems become more severe - however, there is a threshold for the degree of their seriousness, beyond which the relationship is reversed, i.e., environmental problems lower optimal economic growth rates; a similar relationship is found between the economic growth rates at social optimum and at a laissez-faire competitive equilibrium. The optimal growth rate is higher (lower) than the equilibrium growth rate if the degree of seriousness of environmental problems is below (above) a threshold.