Resource Discoveries, Learning and National Income Accounting
AbstractQuestions about the ultimate size of mineral and energy resource endowments and the degree of fiscal prudence which should be exercised by countries engaged in resource extraction have become central for many developing countries during the recent resource boom. To explore this question, a model of optimal resource extraction and discovery combines two polar assumptions: (i) that discovering a resource today drives up the cost of future resource discoveries, and (ii) that extracting resources yields knowledge which reduces the cost of discovery. While the model shows that resource discoveries should be valued at marginal discovery cost in measures of national saving and income, the ultimate size of the resource which can be exploited is the result of the interplay between rising discovery costs and accumulating knowledge. Empirical tests of this model show that the resulting income estimates would be extremely volatile for many extractive economies, owing to the lumpiness of resource discoveries. Two alternative accounting approaches, based on Hicksian concepts, yield more intuitive and less volatile income estimates. The question of fiscal prudence for extractive economies hinges upon how optimistic countries are about the risks in future mineral and energy markets, and how far into the future these countries are willing to project optimistic trends when making decisions about how much to consume and how much to save out of current resource revenues.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 117.
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Asheim, Geir B. & Weitzman, Martin L., 2001.
"Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?,"
Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 233-239, November.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003.
"Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies,"
Environmental & Resource Economics,
European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 647-685, December.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Working Papers 2003.109, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Lasserre, Pierre, 1984. "Reserve and land prices with exploration under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 191-201, September.
- Vincent, Jeffrey R. & Panayotou, Theodore & Hartwick, John M., 1997. "Resource Depletion and Sustainability in Small Open Economies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 274-286, July.
- Deshmukh, Sudhakar D & Pliska, Stanley R, 1980. "Optimal Consumption and Exploration of Nonrenewable Resources under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 177-200, January.
- Asheim, Geir B., 2000.
"Green national accounting: why and how?,"
Environment and Development Economics,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 25-48, February.
- Hamilton, Kirk & Ruta, Giovanni & Tajibaeva, Liaila, 2005.
"Capital accumulation and resources depletion - a Hartwick rule counterfactual,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3480, The World Bank.
- Kirk Hamilton & Giovanni Ruta & Liaila Tajibaeva, 2006. "Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion: A Hartwick Rule Counterfactual," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(4), pages 517-533, August.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1974.
"On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy,"
125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
- Farzin, Y. H., 2001. "The impact of oil price on additions to US proven reserves," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 271-292, July.
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2008.
"Why Do Many Resource-Rich Countries Have Negative Genuine Saving? Anticipation of Better Times or Rapacious Rent Seeking,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2010. "Why do many resource-rich countries have negative genuine saving?: Anticipation of better times or rapacious rent seeking," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 28-44, January.
- John Livernois, 2009. "On the Empirical Significance of the Hotelling Rule," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 22-41, Winter.
- Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-56, May.
- Hartwick, John M, 1977.
"Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
- John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Devarajan, Shantayanan & Fisher, Anthony C, 1982. "Exploration and Scarcity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1279-90, December.
- Kirk Hamilton & John Hartwick, 2005. "Investing exhaustible resource rents and the path of consumption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 615-621, May.
- James D. Hamilton, 2008.
"Understanding Crude Oil Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
14492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kirk Hamilton & Cees Withagen, 2007. "Savings growth and the path of utility," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 703-713, May.
- Kirk Hamilton & Giovanni Ruta, 2009. "Wealth Accounting, Exhaustible Resources and Social Welfare," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 53-64, January.
- Swierzbinski, Joseph E & Mendelsohn, Robert, 1989. "Exploration and Exhaustible Resources: The Microfoundations of Aggregate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 175-86, February.
- Cairns, Robert D. & Van Quyen, Nguyen, 1998. "Optimal Exploration for and Exploitation of Heterogeneous Mineral Deposits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 164-189, March.
- Pindyck, Robert S, 1978. "The Optimal Exploration and Production of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 841-61, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (The GRI Administration).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.