Voracious Transformation of a Common Natural Resource into Productive Capital
AbstractWe analyze a power struggle about the control of natural resources where competing factions in society have a private stock of financial assets and a common stock of natural resources with inadequately defined private property rights. We solve a dynamic common-pool problem and obtain political economy variants of the Hotelling rule for resource depletion and the Hartwick saving rule necessary to sustain constant consumption in an economy with exhaustible natural resources. The rate of increase in the price of natural resources and resource depletion are faster than demanded by the Hotelling rule. As a result, the country substitutes away from resources to capital too rapidly so that it saves and invests more than a homogenous society. The power struggle boosts output, but depresses aggregate consumption and social welfare. Genuine saving is nevertheless zero in a fractionalized society, since the too rapid depletion of natural resources is exactly in line with the too rapid accumulation of physical capital. World Bank measures of genuine saving are likely to be over-estimated. This exacerbates the pzzle of why many resource-rich countries experience negative genuine saving rates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 002.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Exhaustible resources; Hotelling rents; Hartwick rule; sustainable consumption; common pool; fractionalization;
Other versions of this item:
- Frederick van der Ploeg, 2010. "Voracious Transformation Of A Common Natural Resource Into Productive Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 365-381, 05.
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
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