Chapter 9: Sustainable development and competitive performance in Mexican cities: economic and environmental accounts
Inequalities in economic growth, and differences in levels of development between countries or regions at the stage of globalization, have been analyzed through the theory of endogenous growth, or the new growth theory, which states that technological innovation is determined endogenously, and depends on the decisions of public and private sectors within the economic system (Barbier, 1999; Graizbord, 2006). This assumption breaks with the conventional theories of growth, which presumed innovation to be an exogenous variable of the economic system. Under the endogenous model approach, the permanence of inequalities between nations or regions occurs due to the territories of lower development level that fail to generate or use new technologies for their economic growth. However, endogenous growth theory has not incorporated the contribution of natural resources to economic growth, nor the role of innovations to overcome the scarcity of resources. These relationships have been analyzed under other paradigms. The term ‘sustainable’ was used for the first time in the famous report entitled The Limits to Growth (Meadows, 1974). On the other hand, the term ‘sustainable development’ was introduced by the International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources report in 1980 (IUCN, 1980), but it was after the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) that the concept gained popularity.
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