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Biased Technological Change and the Relative Abundance of Natural Resources

  • John Boyce

    (University of Calgary)

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    This paper documents that natural resources that are more abundant have higher production, lower prices, higher primary industry revenues, and higher R&D. These empirical facts are explained by a model of biased technological change in which relatively more abundant resources attract greater R&D because the return from obtaining a patent is higher in larger markets. Resource specifi c R&D may be targeted either towards upstream extraction technologies or towards downstream production technologies, and R&D is subject to diminishing knowledge spillovers and diminishing productivity of labor. The estimated elasticity of substitution between natural resources is greater than one, implying that natural resources are substitutes in production. Declining real resource prices in the face of rising resource production are explained by the increasing productivity of labor as knowledge stocks grow.

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    File URL: http://econ.ucalgary.ca/sites/econ.ucalgary.ca.manageprofile/files/unitis/publications/1-4042733/Induced_Innovation_Paper_January_2013.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Calgary in its series Working Papers with number 2013-04.

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    Date of creation: 21 Jan 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:clg:wpaper:2013-04
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-66, February.
    2. Robert S. Pindyck & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1988. "The Excess Co-Movement of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 2671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    4. Richard G. Newell & Adam B. Jaffe & Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 941-975.
    5. CHAKRAVORTY Ujjayant & MOREAUX Michel & TIDBALL Mabel, 2006. "Ordering the Extraction of Polluting Nonrenewable Resources," LERNA Working Papers 06.19.212, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    6. Partha Dasgupta & Geoffrey Heal, 1974. "The Optimal Depletion of Exhaustible Resources," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(5), pages 3-28.
    7. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Lee, Junsoo & List, John A. & Strazicich, Mark C., 2006. "Non-renewable resource prices: Deterministic or stochastic trends?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 354-370, May.
    9. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Roumasset, James & Tse, Kinping, 1997. "Endogenous Substitution among Energy Resources and Global Warming," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1201-34, December.
    11. David Popp, 2002. "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 160-180, March.
    12. Slade, Margaret E., 1982. "Trends in natural-resource commodity prices: An analysis of the time domain," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 122-137, June.
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