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Thermodynamic implications for natural resource extraction and technical change in U.S. copper mining

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  • Matthias Ruth

Abstract

Motivated by the lack of integrated approaches that do justice to both the thermodynamic and economic aspects of natural resource use and the lack of empirical studies combining the two disciplines, this paper provides an integrated framework for the valuation of technologies, substitution and technical change. The paper determines empirically the relationships between thermodynamic states of materials and the use of high-quality energy sources for the case of copper mining in the United States. The empirical analysis provides the basis for a nonlinear dynamic simulation of optimal resource extraction and endogenous technical change in the light of changing resource quality. The study assesses the potential for future improvements in U.S. copper mining. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Ruth, 1995. "Thermodynamic implications for natural resource extraction and technical change in U.S. copper mining," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(2), pages 187-206, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:6:y:1995:i:2:p:187-206
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00691683
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Faber, Malte & Proops, John & Ruth, Matthias & Michaelis, Peter, 1990. "Economy-environment interactions in the long-run: a neo-Austrian approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 27-55, April.
    2. Kummel, Reiner, 1989. "Energy as a factor of production and entropy as a pollution indicator in macroeconomic modelling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 161-180, May.
    3. Hannon, Bruce & Ruth, Matthias & Delucia, Evan, 1993. "A physical view of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 253-268, December.
    4. Ruth, Matthias, 1995. "Information, order and knowledge in economic and ecological systems: implications for material and energy use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 99-114, May.
    5. Ruth, Matthias & Bullard, Clark W., 1993. "Information, production and utility," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1059-1067, October.
    6. Ayres, Robert U. & Miller, Steven M., 1980. "The role of technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 353-371, December.
    7. Ayres, Robert U., 1988. "Optimal investment policies with exhaustible resources: An information-based model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 439-461, December.
    8. Islam, Saiful, 1985. "Effect of an essential input on isoquants and substitution elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 194-196, July.
    9. Dorfman, Robert, 1969. "An Economic Interpretation of Optimal Control Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 817-831, December.
    10. Lesourd, Jean-Baptiste, 1985. "Energy and resources as production factors in process industries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 138-144, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9974-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ruth, Matthias, 1995. "Information, order and knowledge in economic and ecological systems: implications for material and energy use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 99-114, May.
    3. Ruth, Matthias, 1998. "Dematerialization in five US metals sectors: implications for energy use and CO2 emissions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Ruth, Matthias, 1995. "Technology change in US iron and steel production : Implications for material and energy use, and CO2 emissions," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 199-214, September.
    5. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Ruth, Matthias, 1997. "When, where, and by how much do biophysical limits constrain the economic process?: A survey of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-223, September.
    6. Stern, David I., 1997. "Limits to substitution and irreversibility in production and consumption: A neoclassical interpretation of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 197-215, June.
    7. Vela-Almeida, Diana & Brooks, Grace & Kosoy, Nicolas, 2015. "Setting the limits to extraction: A biophysical approach to mining activities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 189-196.
    8. Rechberger, H. & Graedel, T. E., 2002. "The contemporary European copper cycle: statistical entropy analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 59-72, August.
    9. Ruth, Matthias, 1995. "Thermodynamic constraints on optimal depletion of copper and aluminum in the United States: a dynamic model of substitution and technical change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 197-213, December.

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