Economic growth, international trade, and the depletion or conservation of renewable natural resources
Résumé : Conservation of renewable natural resources and promotion of economic growth are both sustainable development goals. Here, we study the interdependency between economic growth, international trade, and the use of renewable natural resources—under alternative institutional settings of either open access or full property rights—in an endogenous growth model. We find that if the resource is depleted over time, consumption growth is reduced. Economic growth and international trade only impact resource use when the resource is harvested under full property rights. Then, widening international trade can lead countries to shift from conservation to depletion. Changes in the institutional setting of resource use in one country may have repercussions on trading partners. Our results indicate potential trade-offs between the sustainable development goals and imply that policies focusing on resource use or trade (e.g., international trade bans or certified trade) are not sufficient to prevent resource depletion.