Gasmi, Farid, Recuero Virto, Laura and Couvet, Denis (2020) The impact of renewable versus non-renewable natural capital on economic growth. Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 77 (n° 2). pp. 271-333.

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Identification Number : 10.1007/s10640-020-00495-0


In a dataset on 83 countries covering the years 1960–2009, we find a negative indirect effect of the share of renewable natural capital in wealth on economic growth transmitted through demographic factors, more specifically, population fertility. In contrast, in countries with lower income inequality and higher institutional quality, the share of non-renewable natural capital in wealth has a direct positive impact on growth. We also find that countries with higher income per capita, human development, and institutional quality have a higher share of renewable natural capital per capita, but a lower share of renewable natural capital in wealth. Renewable natural capital is thus valuable for the population and of primary concern for empowered countries, even though it contributes less to wealth and economic growth. Our results raise serious questions about the way wealth and growth are defined in economics when one investigates the impact of natural capital and point to the importance of preserving natural capital, particularly, in less developed countries.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: August 2020
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Dordrecht
Uncontrolled Keywords: Natural capital, renewable, non-renewable, economic growth
JEL Classification: O10 - General
O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q20 - General
Q30 - General
Q32 - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2021 11:55
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 08:35
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