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Resource Rent, Environment and Ethics in Norwegian Petroleum Policy

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the understanding of how the environment, ethics, values, and historical contingencies shape public policy. Specifically, it explains the accomplishment of petroleum resource management in Norway. The main argument is that the success of this policy is an understanding of the ethics behind the environmental harvesting of the resource rent of this non-renewable natural resource. The paper firstly describes a model of Ricardian resource rent. Secondly, it investigates the set of values that were in place before the petroleum production started in the 1970s, as described in the influential white paper, “The role of petroleum activities in the Norwegian Society,” published in 1974. In the white paper, the government discussed the future opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities associated with the oil industry and how this would transform society. An important part of the white paper revealed the main ethical vision of the government was to build a “qualitatively better society” for the benefit of the people. Thirdly, the paper traces the historical roots of these values. Finally, the paper concludes that the focus on the natural environment and resource rent management can be attributed to popular values built on historical traditions. According to these, the state and the trust between the state and its citizens played key roles for the formation of the policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Hunnes, John A. & Honningdal Grytten, Ola, 2021. "Resource Rent, Environment and Ethics in Norwegian Petroleum Policy," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 12/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2021_012
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    File URL: https://hdl.handle.net/11250/2755339
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Øyvind Ihlen & Heidi Weltzien Hoivik, 2015. "Ye Olde CSR: The Historic Roots of Corporate Social Responsibility in Norway," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 109-120, March.
    2. Lie, Einar, 2016. "Context and Contingency: Explaining State Ownership in Norway," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 904-930, December.
    3. Grytten, Ola Honningdal, 2020. "Two centuries of economic growth: Norwegian GDP 1816-2020," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2020, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    environment; resource rent; ethics; petroleum; oil; public policy.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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