Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

363-0532-00L  Economics of Sustainable Development

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersL. Bretschger
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractConcepts and indicators of sustainable development, paradigms of weak and strong sustainability;
neoclassical and endogenous growth models;
economic growth in the presence of exhaustible and renewable resources; pollution, environmental policy and growth;
role of substitution and technological progress;
Environmental Kuznets Curve; sustainability policy.
ObjectiveThe aim is to develop an understanding of the implications of sustainable development for the long-run development of economies. It is to be shown to which extent the potential for growth to be sustainable depends on substitution possibilities, technological change and environmental policy.
After successful completion of this course, students are able to
1. understand the causes of long-term economic development
2. analyse the influence of natural resources and pollution on the development of social welfare
3. to appropriately classify the role of politics in the pursuit of sustainability goals.
ContentThe lecture introduces different concepts and paradigms of sustainable development. Building on this foundation and following a general introduction to the modelling of economic growth, conditions for growth to be sustainable in the presence of pollution and scarce natural resources are derived. Special attention is devoted to the scope for substitution and role of technological progress in overcoming resource scarcities. Implications of environmental externalities are regarded with respect to the design of environmental policies.
Concepts and indicators of sustainable development, paradigms of weak and strong sustainability, sustainability optimism vs. pessimism;
introduction to neoclassical and endogenous growth models;
pollution, environmental policy and growth;
role of substitution possibilities and technological progress;
Environmental Kuznets Curve: concept, theory and empirical results;
economic growth in the presence of exhaustible and renewable resources, Hartwick rule, resource saving technological change.
Lecture notesWill be provided successively in the course of the semester.
LiteratureBretschger, F. (1999), Growth Theory and Sustainable Development, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Bretschger, L. (2004), Wachstumstheorie, Oldenbourg, 3. Auflage, München.

Bretschger, L. (2018), Greening Economy, Graying Society, CER-ETH Press, ETH Zurich.

Perman, R., Y. Ma, J. McGilvray and M. Common (2011), Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Longman , 4th ed., Essex.

Neumayer, E. (2003), Weak and Strong Sustainability, 2nd ed., Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.