Luck or Skill? An Examination of the Ehrlich - Simon Bet
In 1980, Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon placed a famous bet on whether the prices of a bundle of natural resources would rise or fall over the ensuing decade. Simon won the bet as the real price of the bundle fell significantly, and the result of this bet has been taken as proof that technological progress is likely overcome any Neo-Malthusian concerns about natural resource scarcity. Contrary to the popular perception, however, an examination of the price history of the identical bundle of goods from 1900-2007 shows that Ehrlich and not Simon would have won a majority of the bets over the past century and would have done so by a wide margin.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Ecological Economics, Vol. 69:7, May 2010, pp. 1365-1367.|
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