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Ownership Risk and the Use of Common-Pool Natural Resources

It has long been recognized that the quality of property rights greatly impacts the economic development of a country and the use of its natural resources. Since Long (1975), the conventional wisdom has been that ownership risk induces a firm to overuse the stock of a resource. However, the empirical evidence is mixed. In particular, Bohn and Deacon (2000) finds that weak property rights have an ambiguous effect on present extraction. We provide a theoretical model supporting these mixed observations in a common-pool resource environment. We show that if ownership risk includes a risk of expropriation in which the identities of the excluded firms are unknown ex ante, then the present extraction of all firms may decrease along with a higher risk of expropriation. The elasticity of demand for the resource is key in explaining the effect of ownership risk on present extraction.

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File URL: http://www.hec.ca/iea/cahiers/2010/iea1003_msantugini_v3.pdf
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Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 10-03.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: May 2011
Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:1003
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institut d'économie appliquée HEC Montréal 3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Québec H3T 2A7
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  1. John Hartwick & Perry Sadorsky, 1988. "Duopoly in Exhaustible Resource Exploration and Extraction," Working Papers 721, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2008. "Voracious Transformation of a Common Natural Resource into Productive Capital," OxCarre Working Papers 002, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Dasgupta, Partha, 1981. " Market Structure and Resource Extraction under Uncertainty," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 83(2), pages 318-33.
  4. Christos Koulovatianos & Leonard J. Mirman, 2005. "The Effects of Market Structure on Industry Growth: Rivalrous Non-excludable Capital," Vienna Economics Papers 0501, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  5. Farzin, Y Hossein, 1984. "The Effect of the Discount Rate on Depletion of Exhaustible Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 841-51, October.
  6. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andes, 1992. "The Tragedy of the Commons and Economic Growth: Why Does Capital Flow from Poor to Rich Countries?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1208-31, December.
  7. Salant, Stephen W, 1976. "Exhaustible Resources and Industrial Structure: A Nash-Cournot Approach to the World Oil Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1079-93, October.
  8. Robert T. Deacon & Henning Bohn, 2000. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 526-549, June.
  9. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  10. Hanan G. Jacoby & Guo Li & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1420-1447, December.
  11. Long, Ngo Van, 1975. "Resource extraction under the uncertainty about possible nationalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 42-53, February.
  12. Hotte, Louis & Long, Ngo Van & Tian, Huilan, 2000. "International trade with endogenous enforcement of property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 25-54, June.
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