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The Optimal Depletion Of Exhaustible Resources: A Complete Characterization

  • Hassan Benchekroun


  • Cees Withagen


We provide the closed form solution to the Dasgupta-Heal-Solow-Stiglitz (DHSS) model. The DHSS model is based on the seminal articles Dasgupta and Heal (Rev. Econ. Stud., 1974), Solow (Rev. Econ. Stud., 1974) and Stiglitz (Rev. Econ. Stud., 1974) and describes an economy with two assets, man-made capital and a nonrenewable resource stock. We explicitly characterize, for such an economy, the dynamics along the optimal trajectory of all the variables in the model and from all possible initial values of the stocks. We use the analytical solution to prove several properties of the optimal consumption path. In particular, we show that the initial consumption under a utilitarian criterion starts below the maximin rate of consumption if and only the resource is abundant enough and that under a utilitarian criterion, it is not necessarily the present generation that benefits most from a windfall of resources.

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Paper provided by McGill University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2010-01.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2010-01
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  1. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & José R. , RUIZ-TAMARIT, 2004. "Special functions for the study of economic dynamics : The case of the Lucas-Uzawa model," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2004026, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Asheim, Geir B. & Buchholz, Wolfgang & Hartwick, John M. & Mitra, Tapan & Withagen, Cees, 2007. "Constant savings rates and quasi-arithmetic population growth under exhaustible resource constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 213-229, March.
  3. John Hartwick & Ngo Van Long & Huilan Tian, 2003. "On the Peaking of Consumption with Exhaustible Resources and Zero Net Investment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(3), pages 235-244, March.
  4. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
  5. Pezzey, John C V & Withagen, Cees A, 1998. " The Rise, Fall and Sustainability of Capital-Resource Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 513-27, June.
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