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Towards a resource policy—unleashing productivity dynamics and balancing international distortions


  • Raimund Bleischwitz


The paper outlines guidelines and pillars of a resource policy. Two reasons favour the formulation of such policy: a demand to increase sluggish resource productivity growth as well as environmental damages occurring along material flows at an international scale. Thus, it is both the innovation and environmental perspective that legitimate policies. The paper surveys recent empirical trends. Referring to research on innovation and transition management, it develops guidelines for a resource policy, namely, market order, provision function, learning processes, market development, and orientation. It furthermore describes four instruments as potential pillars of a future policy mix: a tax on construction minerals, an ecologically differentiated VAT tax, and an international covenant for metals and an international convention for sustainable resource management. The paper finally reflects these guidelines and pillars against weaknesses and ongoing discussions of climate policy. It concludes that despite all uncertainties and complexities, a well-designed resource policy is on the verge of becoming essential for unleashing eco-innovation dynamics. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Raimund Bleischwitz, 2012. "Towards a resource policy—unleashing productivity dynamics and balancing international distortions," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 24(2), pages 135-144, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:24:y:2012:i:2:p:135-144
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-011-0014-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Albrecht, Johan, 2006. "The use of consumption taxes to re-launch green tax reforms," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 88-103, March.
    2. Richard R. Nelson, 2002. "The problem of market bias in modern capitalist economies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 207-244.
    3. Klaus Rennings & Christian Rammer, 2009. "Increasing Energy and Resource Efficiency through Innovation: An Explorative Analysis Using Innovation Survey Data," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(5), pages 442-459, December.
    4. Raimund Bleischwitz, 2011. "Resource Efficiency," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 15(5), pages 644-646, October.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Reinhilde Veugelers & David Hemous, 2009. "No Green Growth Without Innovation," Policy Briefs 353, Bruegel.
    6. Steinberger, Julia K. & Krausmann, Fridolin & Eisenmenger, Nina, 2010. "Global patterns of materials use: A socioeconomic and geophysical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1148-1158, March.
    7. Raimund Bleischwitz, 2010. "International economics of resource productivity – Relevance, measurement, empirical trends, innovation, resource policies," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 227-244, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henckens, M.L.C.M. & Ryngaert, C.M.J. & Driessen, P.P.J. & Worrell, E., 2018. "Normative principles and the sustainable use of geologically scarce mineral resources," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 351-359.
    2. Dominik Wiedenhofer & Marina Fischer-Kowalski, 2015. "Achieving Absolute Decoupling? Comparing Biophysical Scenarios and Macro-economic Modelling Results. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 86," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 57895, December.

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    More about this item


    Resource productivity; Eco-innovation; Economic instruments; Policy mix; F59; H23; N54; O52; Q38;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • I - Health, Education, and Welfare


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