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Fueling Growth when Oil Peaks: Directed Technological Change and the Limits to Efficiency

  • Francisco J. André
  • Sjak Smulders

While fossil energy dependency has declined and energy supply has grown in the postwar world economy, future resource scarcity could cast its shadow on world economic growth soon if energy markets are forward looking. We develop an endogenous growth model that reconciles the current aggregate trends in energy use and productivity growth with the intertemporal dynamics of forward looking resource markets. Combining scarcity-rent driven energy supply (in the spirit of Hotelling) with profit-driven Directed Technical Change (in the spirit of Romer/Acemoglu), we generate transitional dynamics that can be qualitatively calibrated to current trends. The long-run properties of the model are studied to examine whether current trends are sustainable. We highlight the role of extraction costs in mining.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3977.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3977
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  1. Sue Wing, Ian, 2008. "Explaining the declining energy intensity of the U.S. economy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-49, January.
  2. Grimaud, Andre & Rouge, Luc, 2003. "Non-renewable resources and growth with vertical innovations: optimum, equilibrium and economic policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 433-453, March.
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  4. Groth, C. & Schou, P., 2000. "Can Nonrenewable Resources Alleviate the Knife-Edge Character of Endogenous Growth," Papers 00-02, Carleton - School of Public Administration.
  5. Di Maria, Corrado & Valente, Simone, 2008. "Hicks meets Hotelling: the direction of technical change in capital–resource economies," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(06), pages 691-717, December.
  6. Chermak Janie M. & Patrick Robert H., 1995. "A Well-Based Cost Function and the Economics of Exhaustible Resources: The Case of Natural Gas," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 174-189, March.
  7. Edward Barbier, 1999. "Endogenous Growth and Natural Resource Scarcity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 51-74, July.
  8. Prywes, Menahem, 1986. "A nested CES approach to capital-energy substitution," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 22-28, January.
  9. Hassan Benchekroun & Cees Withagen, 2008. "Global Dynamics In A Growth Model With An Exhaustible Resource," Departmental Working Papers 2008-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  10. Berck, Peter & Roberts, Michael, 1996. "Natural Resource Prices: Will They Ever Turn Up?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 65-78, July.
  11. Edwin van der Werf, 2007. "Production Functions for Climate Policy Modeling: An Empirical Analysis," Kiel Working Papers 1316, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Smulders, Sjak & de Nooij, Michiel, 2003. "The impact of energy conservation on technology and economic growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-79, February.
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