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The Kuznets curve and the life cycle analogy

Author: Ayres, Robert U. INSEAD Area: Economics and Political ScienceIn: Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, vol. 8, no. 4, October 1997 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 413-426.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: The growth and, especially, the successions of industrial sectors strongly suggests an "aging" phenomenon. In fact, the Kuznets curve was originally based on this notion. More recently, the aging idea has been more fully elaborated into a "life cycle" scheme (conception, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity and senescence) which corresponds quite closely with the observed stages of development of a new technology or product. The question arises: is the life cycle analogy sufficiently general to constitute a set of "stylized facts" around which a theory could be developed? In particular, is the life cycle reversible? If so, under what circumstances? The paper addresses these questions and concludes with some observations about the environmental Kuznets curve and its applicability to the question of wether economic growth is compatible with long term sustainability
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The growth and, especially, the successions of industrial sectors strongly suggests an "aging" phenomenon. In fact, the Kuznets curve was originally based on this notion. More recently, the aging idea has been more fully elaborated into a "life cycle" scheme (conception, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity and senescence) which corresponds quite closely with the observed stages of development of a new technology or product. The question arises: is the life cycle analogy sufficiently general to constitute a set of "stylized facts" around which a theory could be developed? In particular, is the life cycle reversible? If so, under what circumstances? The paper addresses these questions and concludes with some observations about the environmental Kuznets curve and its applicability to the question of wether economic growth is compatible with long term sustainability

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