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The Hotelling’s Rule Revisited in a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model

In: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources

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  • Beatriz Gaitan S.

    (University of Hamburg)

  • Richard S.J. Tol

    (University of Hamburg)

  • I. Hakan Yetkiner

    (Izmir University of Economics)

Abstract

The validity of the Hotelling’s rule, the fundamental theorem of nonrenewable resource economics, is limited by its partial equilibrium nature. One symptom of this limitation may be the disagreement between the empirical evidence, showing stable or declining resource prices, and the rule, predicting exponentially increasing prices. In this paper, we study the optimal depletion of a nonrenewable resource in a dynamic general equilibrium framework. We show that, in the long run, the price of a nonrenewable (i) is constant when the nonrenewable is essential in production, and (ii) increases only if the rate of return of capital is larger than the capital depreciation rate and the non-renewable is an inessential input in production. We believe that our model offers a theoretical explanation to non-growing nonrenewable prices and hence at least partially solves the paradox between the Hotelling’s rule and the empirical regularity. We also show that two factors play a crucial role in determining the long run behavior of nonrenewable prices, namely the elasticity of substitution between input factors, and the long run behavior of the real interest rate. Another major achievement of this study is the full analytical solution of the model under a Cobb-Douglas technology.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Oguz Esen & Ayla Ogus (ed.), 2006. "Proceedings of the International Conference on Human and Economic Resources," Proceedings of the IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics, Izmir University of Economics, number 2006.
    This item is provided by Izmir University of Economics in its series Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics with number 200619.

    Handle: RePEc:izm:prcdng:200619

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    1. Smith, Vernon L, 1971. "Economics of Production from Natural Resources: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 488-91, June.
    2. Sweeney, James L, 1977. "Economics of Depletable Resources: Market Forces and Intertemporal Bias," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 125-41, February.
    3. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Monopoly and the Rate of Extraction of Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 655-61, September.
    4. Peterson, Frederick M & Fisher, Anthony C, 1977. "The Exploitation of Extractive Resources: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 87(348), pages 681-721, December.
    5. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
    7. Richard L. Gordon, 1967. "A Reinterpretation of the Pure Theory of Exhaustion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 274.
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    Cited by:
    1. Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "Integrated Assessment Modelling," Working Papers FNU-102, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2006.
    2. Tol, Richard S.J., 2007. "Europe's long-term climate target: A critical evaluation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 424-432, January.
    3. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol & Patrick Wetzel, 2005. "Ocean Carbon Sinks And International Climate Policy," Working Papers FNU-60, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2005.
    4. David J. Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2004. "The Amenity Value Of Climate To Households In Germany," Working Papers FNU-39, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jan 2005.
    5. Jacqueline M. Hamilton, 2005. "Coastal landscape and the hedonic price of accommodation," Working Papers FNU-91, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2005.
    6. Pushpam Kumar & Uwe A. Schneider, 2008. "Greenhouse gas emission mitigation through agriculture," Working Papers FNU-155, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2008.

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