A Theoretical Model for the Extraction and Refinement of Natural Resources
The modelling of production in microeconomics has been the subject of heated debate. The controversial issues include the substitutability between production inputs, the role of time and the economic consequences of irreversibility in the production process. A case in point is the use of Cobb-Douglas type production functions. This approach completely ignores the physical process underlying the production of a good. We examine these issues in the context of the production of a basic commodity (such as copper or aluminium). We model the extraction and the refinement of a valuable substance which is mixed with waste material, in a way which is fully consistent with the physical constraints of the process. The resulting analytical description of production unambiguously reveals that perfect substitutability between production inputs fails if a corrected thermodynamic approach is used. We analyze the equilibrium pricing of a commodity extracted in an irreversible way. The thermodynamic model allows for the calculation of the ”energy yield” (energy return on energy invested) of production alongside a financial (real) return in a two-period investment decision. The two investment criteria correspond in our economy to a different choice of numeraire and means of payment and corresponding views of the value of energy resources. Under an energy numeraire, energy resources will naturally be used in a more parsimonious way
|Date of creation:||Aug 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.deps.unisi.it/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Khalil, Elias L., 1991. "Entropy law and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's paradigm: A reply," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 161-163, July.
- Gonzalo Cortazar & Eduardo S. Schwartz & Marcelo Salinas, 1998. "Evaluating Environmental Investments: A Real Options Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1059-1070, August.
- In-Moo Kim & Prakash Loungani, 1991.
"The role of energy in real business cycle models,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
91-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Lozada, Gabriel A., 1991. "A defense of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's paradigm," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 157-160, July.
- Magnus, Jan R, 1979. "Substitution between Energy and Non-Energy Inputs in the Netherlands, 1950-1976," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 465-84, June.
- Cleveland, Cutler J., 1992. "Energy quality and energy surplus in the extraction of fossil fuels in the U.S," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 139-162, October.
- Roma, Antonio, 2006. "Energy, money, and pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 534-545, April.
- Fuss, Melvyn A., 1977. "The demand for energy in Canadian manufacturing : An example of the estimation of production structures with many inputs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 89-116, January.
- Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Is the entropy law relevant to the economics of natural resource scarcity?-- yes, of course it is!," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 91-95, July.
- Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1994.
"Models of Energy Use: Putty-Putty versus Putty-Clay,"
NBER Working Papers
4833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Patrick J. Kehoe & Andrew Atkeson, 1999. "Models of Energy Use: Putty-Putty versus Putty-Clay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1028-1043, September.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Monopoly and the Rate of Extraction of Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 655-61, September.
- Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Model of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 363-84, March.
- Cleveland, Cutler J. & Ruth, Matthias, 1997. "When, where, and by how much do biophysical limits constrain the economic process?: A survey of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-223, September.
- Krysiak, Frank C., 2006. "Entropy, limits to growth, and the prospects for weak sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 182-191, June.
- Ethridge, Don, 1973. "The Inclusion of Wastes in the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1430-41, Nov.-Dec..
- Hartwick, John M, 1978.
"Exploitation of Many Deposits of an Exhaustible Resource,"
Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 201-17, January.
- John Hartwick, 1975. "Exploitation of Many Deposits of an Exhaustible Resource," Working Papers 182, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Kaldellis, J. K. & Vlachou, D. S. & Korbakis, G., 2005. "Techno-economic evaluation of small hydro power plants in Greece: a complete sensitivity analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(15), pages 1969-1985, October.
- Kummel, Reiner, 1989. "Energy as a factor of production and entropy as a pollution indicator in macroeconomic modelling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 161-180, May.
- Ayres, Robert U. & Miller, Steven M., 1980. "The role of technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 353-371, December.
- Pindyck, Robert S & Rotemberg, Julio J, 1983. "Dynamic Factor Demands and the Effects of Energy Price Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1066-79, December.
- Daly, Herman E., 1997. "Georgescu-Roegen versus Solow/Stiglitz," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 261-266, September.
- Krysiak, Frank C. & Krysiak, Daniela, 2003. "Production, consumption, and general equilibrium with physical constraints," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 513-538, November.
- Sav, G Thomas, 1984. "Micro Engineering Foundations of Energy-Capital Complementarity: Solar Domestic Water Heaters," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 334-38, May.
- Bodo, Giorgio & Signorini, Luigi Federico, 1987. "Short-term forecasting of the industrial production index," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 245-259.
- Pindyck, Robert S, 1979. "Interfuel Substitution and the Industrial Demand for Energy: An International Comparison," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 169-79, May.
- Tsoutsos, Theocharis & Gekas, Vasilis & Marketaki, Katerina, 2003. "Technical and economical evaluation of solar thermal power generation," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 873-886.
- Ayres, Robert U & Kneese, Allen V, 1969. "Production , Consumption, and Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 282-97, June.
- Ruth, Matthias, 1995. "Thermodynamic constraints on optimal depletion of copper and aluminum in the United States: a dynamic model of substitution and technical change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 197-213, December.
- Gately, Mark, 2007. "The EROI of U.S. offshore energy extraction: A net energy analysis of the Gulf of Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 355-364, August.
- Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Energy Price Uncertainty and Optimal Factor Intensity: A Mean-Variance Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1839-45, November.
- Thompson, Peter & Taylor, Timothy G, 1995. "The Capital-Energy Substitutability Debate: A New Look," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 565-69, August.
- Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
- Islam, Saiful, 1985. "Effect of an essential input on isoquants and substitution elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 194-196, July.
- Khalil, Elias L., 1990. "Entropy law and exhaustion of natural resources Is Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's paradigm defensible?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 163-178, June.
- Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
- Griffin, James M & Gregory, Paul R, 1976. "An Intercountry Translog Model of Energy Substitution Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 845-57, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:537. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fabrizio Becatti)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.