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Fueling Growth when Oil Peaks: Directed Technological Change and the Limits to Efficiency

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  • Francisco J. André
  • Sjak Smulders

Abstract

While fossil energy dependency has declined and energy supply has grown in the postwar world economy, future resource scarcity could cast its shadow on world economic growth soon if energy markets are forward looking. We develop an endogenous growth model that reconciles the current aggregate trends in energy use and productivity growth with the intertemporal dynamics of forward looking resource markets. Combining scarcity-rent driven energy supply (in the spirit of Hotelling) with profit-driven Directed Technical Change (in the spirit of Romer/Acemoglu), we generate transitional dynamics that can be qualitatively calibrated to current trends. The long-run properties of the model are studied to examine whether current trends are sustainable. We highlight the role of extraction costs in mining.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3977.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3977

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Related research

Keywords: non-renewable resources; energy; economic growth; innovation; directed technical change;

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  1. Hassan Benchekroun & Cees Withagen, 2008. "Global Dynamics In A Growth Model With An Exhaustible Resource," Departmental Working Papers 2008-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  2. van der Werf, Edwin, 2008. "Production functions for climate policy modeling: An empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2964-2979, November.
  3. Prywes, Menahem, 1986. "A nested CES approach to capital-energy substitution," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 22-28, January.
  4. Smulders, J.A. & Nooij, M. de, 2003. "The impact of energy conservation on technology and economic growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-123121, Tilburg University.
  5. Ujjayant Chakravorty & Michel Moreaux & Mabel Tidball, 2008. "Ordering the Extraction of Polluting Nonrenewable Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1128-44, June.
  6. Christian Groth & Poul Schou, 2002. "Can non-renewable resources alleviate the knife-edge character of endogenous growth?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 386-411, July.
  7. Berck, Peter & Roberts, Michael, 1996. "Natural Resource Prices: Will They Ever Turn Up?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 65-78, July.
  8. BENCHEKROUN, Hassan & WITHAGEN, Cees, 2010. "The Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources : A Complete Characterization," Cahiers de recherche 04-2010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  9. Grimaud, Andre & Rouge, Luc, 2003. "Non-renewable resources and growth with vertical innovations: optimum, equilibrium and economic policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 433-453, March.
  10. Edward Barbier, 1999. "Endogenous Growth and Natural Resource Scarcity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 51-74, July.
  11. Chermak Janie M. & Patrick Robert H., 1995. "A Well-Based Cost Function and the Economics of Exhaustible Resources: The Case of Natural Gas," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 174-189, March.
  12. Di Maria, Corrado & Valente, Simone, 2008. "Hicks meets Hotelling: the direction of technical change in capital–resource economies," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(06), pages 691-717, December.
  13. Sue Wing, Ian, 2008. "Explaining the declining energy intensity of the U.S. economy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-49, January.
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