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Exploration externalities and government subsidies: The return to government


  • Fogarty, James J.
  • Sagerer, Simon


Governments have, for a long time, invested in the direct provision of basic geological survey information to support exploration and mining activity. Recently, Australian governments have also started to provide direct drilling subsidies to exploration companies. Using data for Western Australia we investigate the return to government from the direct provision of geological survey information and the provision of drilling subsides. We find no evidence that drilling subsidies are less effective than traditional geological survey spending in generating a return to government. We suggest drilling subsidies are effective because there is a dishonesty externality in the market for exploration equity capital that gives rise to a market for lemons problem, and that government programs to award drilling subsidies to exploration companies work as a third party certification system that addresses this problem. We conclude by showing that, with real discount rates of 5%, 7%, and 9%, and a narrow definition of benefits, the expected benefit–cost ratios for State government support for exploration are 9.0, 6.7, and 5.2.

Suggested Citation

  • Fogarty, James J. & Sagerer, Simon, 2016. "Exploration externalities and government subsidies: The return to government," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 78-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:47:y:2016:i:c:p:78-86
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.01.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gildemeister, Martin & Jara, J. Joaquín & Lagos, Gustavo & Marquardt, Carlos & Espinoza, Felipe, 2018. "Direct economic return to government of public geoscience information investments in Chile," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 152-162.
    2. Fuan Zhang & Na Li, 2022. "The Impact of CSR on the Performance of a Dual-Channel Closed-Loop Supply Chain under Two Carbon Regulatory Policies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(5), pages 1-22, March.
    3. Zhe Huang & Min Fu, 2020. "Research on green decision making of pharmaceutical logistics considering government subsidy strategy," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(10), pages 1-13, October.
    4. Jian Xue & Ruifeng Gong & Laijun Zhao & Xiaoqing Ji & Yan Xu, 2019. "A Green Supply-Chain Decision Model for Energy-Saving Products That Accounts for Government Subsidies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(8), pages 1-17, April.
    5. Yan Chen & Zhuying Wang & Yan Liu & Zongchao Mou, 2023. "Coordination Analysis of the Recycling and Remanufacturing Closed-Loop Supply Chain Considering Consumers’ Low Carbon Preference and Government Subsidy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(3), pages 1-24, January.
    6. Weiling Wang & Yongjian Wang & Xiaoqing Zhang & Dalin Zhang, 2021. "Effects of Government Subsidies on Production and Emissions Reduction Decisions under Carbon Tax Regulation and Consumer Low-Carbon Awareness," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(20), pages 1-17, October.

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    More about this item


    Exploration externalities; Government policy; Exhaustible resources; Q32; Q38;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)


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