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Abstract

We extend Brander-Taylor's model of development on Easter Island by adding a resource subsistence requirement to people's preferences, and a conservation incentive in the form of a revenue-neutral, ad valorem tax on resource consumption. Adding subsistence improves plausibility; makes overshoot and collapse of population more extreme, and the steady state less stable; and allows for the possibility that statue building and erection will suddenly stop, in line with the archaeological evidence. We explore a tax rate path which could have almost completely prevented overshoot, and conjecture that the overall strength of this path must rise when the subsistence level rises.

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