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Economic Growth and Property Rights on Natural Resources

Listed author(s):
  • Kirill Borissov
  • Mikhail Pakhnin

We consider two models of economic growth with exhaustible natural resources, exogenous technical progress and agents heterogeneous in their time preferences. In the first model we assume private ownership of natural resources. We show that every competitive equilibrium in this model converges to a balanced-growth equilibrium. The long-run extraction rate and the rate of growth are determined by the discount factor of the most patient agents. The second model assumes public ownership of natural resources. The resource revenue is equally distributed among agents, who choose the resource extraction rate by voting. We define an intertemporal voting equilibrium and show that it also converges to a balanced-growth equilibrium. The long-run voting equilibrium extraction rate and the rate of growth are determined by the median discount factor. Our results suggest that, other things being equal, the growth rate in the case of private ownership is higher than that of public ownership if the most patient agents do not constitute the majority in population; otherwise there is no difference in the growth rates between the two regimes. However, in the long run private ownership leads to a higher level of inequality than public ownership. If we take into account the detrimental effect of inequality on economic growth, then the public property regime will likely result in a higher long-run rate of growth compared to the private property regime.

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Paper provided by European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics in its series EUSP Department of Economics Working Paper Series with number Ec-02/16.

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Length: 100 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2016
Handle: RePEc:eus:wpaper:ec0216
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