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The Alberta dilemma: Optimal sharing of a water resource by an agricultural and an oil sector

  • GAUDET Gérard
  • MOREAUX Michel

    (LERNA, University of Toulouse)

  • WITHAGEN Cees

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the optimal time paths of production and water usage by an agricultural and an oil sector that have to share a limited water resource. We show that for any given water stock, if the oil stock is sufficiently large, it will become optimal to have a phase during which the agricultural sector is inactive. This may mean having an initial phase during which the two sectors are active, then a phase during which the water is reserved for the oil sector and the agricultural sector is inactive, followed by a phase during which both sectors are active again. The agricultural sector will always be active in the end as the oil stock is depleted and the demand for water from the oil sector decreases. In the case where agriculture is not constrained by the given natural inflow of water once there is no more oil, we show that oil extraction will always end with a phase during which oil production follows a pure Hotelling path, with the implicit price of oil net of extraction cost growing at the rate of interest. If the natural inflow of water does constitute a constraint for agriculture, then oil production never follows a pure Hotelling path, because its full marginal cost must always reflect not only the imputed rent on the finite oil stock, but also the positive opportunity cost of water.

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File URL: http://www2.toulouse.inra.fr/lerna/cahiers2006/06.06.199.pdf
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Paper provided by LERNA, University of Toulouse in its series LERNA Working Papers with number 06.06.199.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:06.06.199
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521331586 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Holland, Stephen P., 2003. "Extraction capacity and the optimal order of extraction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 569-588, May.
  3. Swallow, Stephen K., 1990. "Depletion of the environmental basis for renewable resources: The economics of interdependent renewable and nonrenewable resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 281-296, November.
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  5. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Roumasset, James & Tse, Kinping, 1997. "Endogenous Substitution among Energy Resources and Global Warming," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1201-34, December.
  6. Favard, Pascal, 2002. "Does productive capital affect the order of resource exploitation?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 911-918, June.
  7. Amigues, J.-P. & Favard, P. & Gaudet, G. & Moreaux, M., 1996. "On The Optimal Order of Natural Resourse Use When the Capacity of the Inexhaustible Substitute is Limited," Papers 96.431, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  8. Gerard Gaudet & Michel Moreaux & Stephen W. Salant, 2001. "Intertemporal Depletion of Resource Sites by Spatially Distributed Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1149-1159, September.
  9. Hartwick, John M. & Kemp, Murray C. & Van Long, Ngo, 1986. "Set-up costs and theory of exhaustible resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 212-224, September.
  10. Kemp, Murray C & Long, Ngo Van, 1980. "On Two Folk Theorems Concerning the Extraction of Exhaustible Resources," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 663-73, April.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521337465 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Lewis, Tracy R, 1982. "Sufficient Conditions for Extracting Least Cost Resource First," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1081-83, July.
  13. Chakravorty, Ujjayant & Krulce, Darrell L, 1994. "Heterogeneous Demand and Order of Resource Extraction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1445-52, November.
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