Resources and Technologies
This Working Paper joint two previous articles by the authors: The economic theory of exhaustible natural resources, in “Enciclopedia degli Idrocarburi”, vol. IV, Istituto della Enciclopedia Treccani, Roma, 2008, pp. 3-10;Technological innovation, relative scarcity, investments, in “Enciclopedia degli Idrocarburi”, vol. IV, Istituto della Enciclopedia Treccani, 2008, pp. 11-22. In the first one (cap. 1-4), we consider the contribution of economic theory (partly through a reevaluation of history) in order both to interpret and predict events, and to identify economic policies; this happens especially when the world economy feels the significant constraints imposed by some natural resources and raw materials, partly due to the rapid growth of a number of developing countries, and when there is an urgent need to increase resources rapidly to ensure continuing availability. Even if the problem of scarce resources (of which natural resources are the most obvious category) has been central to analysis for centuries, natural resource economics is contradictory. The main reason for this is that economic theory is out of step with prevailing economic conditions, as a consequence of the varying concern for a crucial phenomenon in the dynamics of economic systems: the opposition-coexistence of the scarcity of natural resources and the producibility of commodities. Natural resource economics can be summarized by dividing it into three main lines of thought: the theory of producibility and scarcity developed by classical economists; the theory of general and natural scarcities developed by marginalists and neoclassicals; the theory of dynamics with and without natural scarcities developed by macroeconomists, structuralists and empirical stylizers. Using this three-way subdivision, which is not clearly codified in economic theory, the basic features of each approach will be examined with special attention to its early exponents. The historical starting point is the second half of the Eighteenth century, although we will ignore contributions such as those made by the Physiocrats who, during the same period, developed a theory of production based on the surplus generated by agriculture. In the second one (cap. 5-6), we consider that the role of technological innovation for resources use and conservation is often measured by empirical indicators of intensity or efficiency which express the evolution of resource use in relation to variables such as population and GDP. The historical evolution of these indicators tends to indicate a process of decoupling – in other words, a decrease in the energy/emissions intensity of economic activity or an increase in the efficiency/productivity of resource use. These empirical regularities have led to the proposition of stylized facts representing the relationships between resource-use efficiency and economic growth known as environmental Kuznets curves. However, the economic interpretations of the innovation mechanisms underlying the progress suggested by efficiency indicators, nonetheless, remain open and complex at the very time when there is increasing demand for further substantial advances in resource-use efficiency. We will survey the empirical evidence on the medium- and long-term dynamics of these indicators and will discuss their significance. This will be followed by an analysis of the possible role played by economic factors (especially resource prices and markets) and institutional factors (especially climate policy) in triggering and supporting progress in the use efficiency of energy resources.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://centridiricerca.unicatt.it/cranec_1800.html?type=Workingpapers
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
- Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
- Mazzanti Massimiliano & Zoboli Roberto, 2005. "The Drivers of Environmental Innovation in Local Manufacturing Systems," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 399-438.
- Zhang, Zhongxiang, 2000. "Decoupling China's Carbon Emissions Increase from Economic Growth: An Economic Analysis and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 739-752, April.
- Labson B. Stephen & Crompton Paul L., 1993. "Common Trends in Economic Activity and Metals Demand: Cointegration and the Intensity of Use Debate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-161, September.
- David Popp, 2002. "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 160-180, March.
- Chimeli, Ariaster B. & Braden, John B., 2005. "Total factor productivity and the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 366-380, March.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995.
"Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Thomas M. Selden, 1992. "Stoking the Fires? Co2 Emissions and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
- de Bruyn, S. M. & van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. & Opschoor, J. B., 1998. "Economic growth and emissions: reconsidering the empirical basis of environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 161-175, May.
- Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
- Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2006. "Economic instruments and induced innovation: The European policies on end-of-life vehicles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 318-337, June.
- Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
- Baranzini, Andrea & Goldemberg, Jose & Speck, Stefan, 2000. "A future for carbon taxes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 395-412, March.
- Tilton, John E, 1989. "The New View of Minerals and Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 65(190), pages 265-78, September.
- Stern, David I., 2004.
"The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve,"
Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
- David I. Stern, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0302, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
- Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001.
"The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
- James Andreoni & Arik Levinson, 1998. "The Simple Analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 6739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Casler, Stephen D. & Afrasiabi, Ahmad, 1993. "Input composition and the energy-output ratio," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 267-277, December.
- Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
- Carraro, Carlo & Gerlagh, Reyer & Zwaan, Bob van der, 2003. "Endogenous technical change in environmental macroeconomics," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-10, February.
- Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
- Leontief, Wassily, 1977. "The future of the world economy+," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 171-182.
- Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2003. "Chapter 11 Technological change and the environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 461-516 Elsevier.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crn:wpaper:crn1101. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paolo Valentini)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.