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Rapacious Resource Depletion, Excessive Investment and Insecure Property Rights

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  • Frederick Van der Ploeg

Abstract

For a country fractionalized in competing factions, each owning part of the stock of natural exhaustible resources, or with insecure property rights, we analyze how resources are transformed into productive capital to sustain consumption. We allow property rights to improve as the country transforms natural resources into capital. The ensuing power struggle about the control of resources is solved as a non-cooperative differential game. Prices of resources and depletion increase faster than suggested by the Hotelling rule, especially with many competing factions and less secure property rights. As a result, the country substitutes away from resources to capital too rapidly and invests more than predicted by the Hartwick rule. The power struggle boosts output but depresses aggregate consumption and welfare, especially in highly fractionalized countries with less secure property rights. The theory suggests that adjusted net saving estimates calculated by the World Bank using market prices over-estimate welfare-based measures of genuine saving.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Rapacious Resource Depletion, Excessive Investment and Insecure Property Rights," CESifo Working Paper Series 2981, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2981
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2981.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ngo Long, 2011. "Dynamic Games in the Economics of Natural Resources: A Survey," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 115-148, March.
    2. Rintaro Yamaguchi & Masayuki Sato & Kazuhiro Ueta, 2016. "Measuring Regional Wealth and Assessing Sustainable Development: An Application to a Disaster-Torn Region in Japan," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 365-389, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exhaustible resources; Hotelling rule; Hartwick rule; capital; sustainable consumption; fractionalization; seepage; insecure property rights; differential game; genuine saving; adjusted net saving;

    JEL classification:

    • 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, Innovation, 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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