On the Dynamics of Recycling and Natural Resources

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We study the dynamic impact of recycling through its effect on the production set of the economy and its relationship with natural resources. The contribution of renewable and recyclable resources for sustainability is studied. Although in the short run recycling may alleviate resource scarcity, in the long run it is not enough to compensate for the exhaustibility of non-renewable resources and the possibility of obtaining non-decreasing output paths crucially depends on the extent to which production rests on renewable resources. Furthermore, recycling interacts with natural resource growth, surprisingly not always favoring sustainability. The Production and Recycling Function is a generalization of the traditional production function, providing an integrated view of regular production and recycling and representing the production set of the economy when a recycling technology is available.

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