Luck or skill? An examination of the Ehrlich-Simon bet
AbstractIn 1980, Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon placed a famous bet on whether the prices of a bundle of natural resources would rise or fall over the ensuing decade. Simon won the bet as the real price of the bundle fell significantly, and the result of this bet has been taken as proof that technological progress is likely to overcome that of any Neo-Malthusian concerns about natural resource scarcity. Contrary to the popular perception, however, an examination of the price history of the identical bundle of goods from 1900 to 2008 shows that Ehrlich and not Simon would have won a majority of the bets over the past century and would have done so by a wide margin.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (May)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Natural resources Scarcity Neo-Malthusian;
Other versions of this item:
- Katherine A. Kiel & Victor Matheson & Kevin Golembiewski, 2009. "Luck or Skill? An Examination of the Ehrlich - Simon Bet," Working Papers 0908, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
- Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
- Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
- Stan Becker, 2013. "Has the World Really Survived the Population Bomb? (Commentary on “How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons From 50 Years of Extraordinary Demographic History”)," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2173-2181, December.
- Lawn, Philip, 2010. "On the Ehrlich-Simon bet: Both were unskilled and Simon was lucky," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2045-2046, September.
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