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Temporary Natural Resource Cartels


  • GAUDET, Gérard
  • LONG, Ngo Van


We analyze the behavior of a nonrenewable resource cartel that anticipates being forced, at some date in the future, to break-up into an oligopolistic market in which its members will then have to compete as rivals. Under reasonable assumptions about the value function of the individual firms in the oligopolistic equilibrium that follows the break-up, we show that the cartel will then produce more over the same interval of time than it would if there were no threat of dissolution, and that its rate of extraction is a decreasing function of the cartel’s life; that there are circumstances under which the cartel will attach a negative marginal value to the resource stocks, in which case the rate of depletion will be increasing over time during the cartel phase; that, for a given date of dissolution, the equilibrium stocks allocated to the post-cartel phase will increase as a function of the total initial stocks, whereas those allocated to the cartel phase will increase at first, but begin decreasing beyond some level of the total initial stocks.

Suggested Citation

  • BENCHEKROUN, Hassan & GAUDET, Gérard & LONG, Ngo Van, 2004. "Temporary Natural Resource Cartels," Cahiers de recherche 03-2004, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:03-2004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pindyck, Robert S, 1979. "The Cartelization of World Commodity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 154-158, May.
    2. Robert S. Pindyck, 1977. "Cartel Pricing and the Structure of the World Bauxite Market," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 343-360, Autumn.
    3. Groot, Fons & Withagen, Cees & de Zeeuw, Aart, 2003. "Strong time-consistency in the cartel-versus-fringe model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 287-306, November.
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    5. A. M. Ulph & G. M. Folie, 1980. "Exhaustible Resources and Cartels: An Intertemporal Nash-Cournot Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(4), pages 645-658, November.
    6. Simon J. Evenett & Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2001. "International Cartel Enforcement: Lessons from the 1990s," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(9), pages 1221-1245, September.
    7. Pindyck, Robert S, 1978. "Gains to Producers from the Cartelization of Exhaustible Resources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 238-251, May.
    8. Groot, Fons & Withagen, Cees & de Zeeuw, Aart, 1992. "Note on the Open-Loop von Stackelberg Equilibrium in the Cartel versus Fringe Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1478-1484, November.
    9. Teece, David J. & Sunding, David & Mosakowski, Elaine, 1993. "Natural resource cartels," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1131-1166 Elsevier.
    10. Newbery, David M G, 1981. "Oil Prices, Cartels, and the Problem of Dynamic Inconsistency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(363), pages 617-646, September.
    11. 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 1079-1093, October.
    12. Stiglitz, Joseph E. & Dasgupta, Partha, 1982. "Market structure and resource depletion: A contribution to the theory of intertemporal monopolistic competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 128-164, October.
    13. Valerie Y. Suslow, 2005. "Cartel contract duration: empirical evidence from inter-war international cartels," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(5), pages 705-744, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2012. "Breakthrough Renewables and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 3986, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2012. "Resource Wars and Confiscation Risk," OxCarre Working Papers 097, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2017. "Rapacious Oil Exploration in face of Regime Switches: Breakthrough Renewable Energy and Dynamic Resource Wars," Development Working Papers 415, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 21 Feb 2017.
    4. Gérard Gaudet, 2007. "Natural resource economics under the rule of Hotelling," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1033-1059, November.
    5. Boyce, John R. & Vojtassak, Lucia, 2008. "An 'oil'igopoly theory of exploration," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 428-454, August.
    6. Wirl, Franz, 2008. "Resource extraction by cartels facing constraints on cooperation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 409-427, August.
    7. Ngo Long, 2011. "Dynamic Games in the Economics of Natural Resources: A Survey," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 115-148, March.
    8. Frederick van der Ploeg & Aart de Zeeuw, 2013. "Climate Tipping and Economic Growth: Precautionary Capital and the Price of Carbon," OxCarre Working Papers 118, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item


    cartels; dissolution; nonrenewable natural resources;

    JEL classification:

    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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