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Pareto Optimality in the Extraction of Fossil Fuels and the Greenhouse Effect: A Note

  • Hans-Werner Sinn

This note generalizes the Solow-Stiglitz efficiency condition for natural resources to the problem of fossil fuel extraction with a greenhouse effect. The generalized optimality condition suggests that the greenhouse effect implies overextraction in the sense of leaving future generations a wrongly composed wealth portfolio with too few natural resources relative to man-made capital. This judgment is independent of society's ethical preferences concerning the well-being of future generations.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13453.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13453.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13453
Note: EEE PE
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  1. R. M. Solow, 1973. "Intergenerational Equity and Exhaustable Resources," Working papers 103, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Fisher, Anthony C & Krutilla, John V, 1975. "Resource Conservation, Environmental Preservation, and the Rate of Discount," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 358-70, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Kolstad, Charles D. & Krautkraemer, Jeffrey A., 1993. "Natural resource use and the environment," 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 26, pages 1219-1265 Elsevier.
  5. Konrad Kai A. & Olsen Trond E. & Schob Ronnie, 1994. "Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 149-162, March.
  6. John Quiggin & John Horowitz, 2003. "Costs of adjustment to climate change," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 429-446, December.
  7. Cees Withagen, 1995. "Pollution, abatement and balanced growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 1-8, January.
  8. Long, Ngo Van, 1975. "Resource extraction under the uncertainty about possible nationalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 42-53, February.
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