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Technological Opportunities and Growth in the Natural Resource Sector

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  • Lundström, Susanna

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    Abstract

    Both technological and natural resource possibilities seem to evolve in cycles. The “Resource Opportunity Model” in this paper introduces the technological opportunity thinking into natural resource modeling. The natural resource industries’ choice between incremental, complementary innovations, and drastic, breakthrough innovations, will give rise to long-run cycles in the so-called familiar resource stock, which is the amount of natural resources determined by the prevailing paradigm. Incremental innovations will increase the exhaustion of the stock, and drastic innovations will create a new paradigm and, thereby, new technological opportunities and a new stock of familiar resources. Drastic innovations are endogenously affected by the knowledge level and induced either by scarcity of technological opportunities or by scarcity of resources. Generally, increased innovation ability increases the knowledge stock and cumulative income over time, but does not affect the sustainability of the resource stock even though the intensity of the resource cycles increases. However, too low innovation ability might drive the sector into technological stagnation, and resource exhaustion in the long run; and too high innovation ability might drive the sector into extraction stagnation, and resource exhaustion in the short run.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2892
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 116.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Nov 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0116

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    Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
    Phone: 031-773 10 00
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Cycles; Economic growth; Induced innovations; Natural resources; Paradigm shifts; Technological opportunities;

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    1. Elhanan Helpman & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1994. "A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap: Growth Based on General Purpose Technologies," NBER Working Papers 4854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-45, March.
    8. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    9. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
    10. Olsson, Ola, 2000. " Knowledge as a Set in Idea Space: An Epistemological View on Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 253-75, September.
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    12. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
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