Resource discoveries, learning, and national income accounting
Questions about the ultimate size of mineral and energy resource endowments and the degree of fiscal prudence which should be exercised by countries engaged in resource extraction have become central for many developing countries during the recent resource boom. To explore these questions, this paper develops a model of optimal resource extraction and discovery that combines two polar assumptions: (i) that discovering a resource today drives up the cost of future resource discoveries, and (ii) that extracting resources yields knowledge that reduces the cost of discovery. Although the model shows that resource discoveries should be valued at marginal discovery cost in measures of national saving and income, the ultimate size of the resource that can be exploited is the result of the interplay between rising discovery costs and accumulating knowledge. Empirical tests of the model show that the resulting income estimates would be extremely volatile for many extractive economies, owing to the lumpiness of resource discoveries. Two alternative accounting approaches, based on Hicksian concepts, yield more intuitive and less volatile income estimates. The question of fiscal prudence for extractive economies hinges on how optimistic countries are about the risks in future mineral and energy markets, and how far into the future these countries are willing to project optimistic trends when making decisions about how much to consume and how much to save of current resource revenues.
|Date of creation:||01 Jun 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
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.:
- Cairns, Robert D. & Van Quyen, Nguyen, 1998. "Optimal Exploration for and Exploitation of Heterogeneous Mineral Deposits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 164-189, March.
- Asheim, Geir B., 2000.
"Green national accounting: why and how?,"
Environment and Development Economics,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 25-48, February.
- James D. Hamilton, 2009.
"Understanding Crude Oil Prices,"
The Energy Journal,
International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 179-206.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003.
"Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies,"
Environmental & Resource Economics,
European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 647-685, December.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Working Papers 2003.109, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Hamilton, Kirk & Ruta, Giovanni & Tajibaeva, Liaila, 2005.
"Capital accumulation and resources depletion - a Hartwick rule counterfactual,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3480, The World Bank.
- Kirk Hamilton & Giovanni Ruta & Liaila Tajibaeva, 2006. "Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion: A Hartwick Rule Counterfactual," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(4), pages 517-533, August.
- Swierzbinski, Joseph E & Mendelsohn, Robert, 1989. "Exploration and Exhaustible Resources: The Microfoundations of Aggregate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 175-86, February.
- Vincent, Jeffrey R. & Panayotou, Theodore & Hartwick, John M., 1997. "Resource Depletion and Sustainability in Small Open Economies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 274-286, July.
- Hartwick, John M, 1977.
"Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
- John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Asheim,G.B. & Weitzman,M.L., 2001.
"Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?,"
02/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Deshmukh, Sudhakar D & Pliska, Stanley R, 1980. "Optimal Consumption and Exploration of Nonrenewable Resources under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 177-200, January.
- Lasserre, Pierre, 1984. "Reserve and land prices with exploration under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 191-201, September.
- Devarajan, Shantayanan & Fisher, Anthony C, 1982. "Exploration and Scarcity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1279-90, December.
- Pindyck, Robert S, 1978. "The Optimal Exploration and Production of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 841-61, October.
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2008.
"Why Do Many Resource-Rich Countries Have Negative Genuine Saving? Anticipation of Better Times or Rapacious Rent Seeking,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2010. "Why do many resource-rich countries have negative genuine saving?: Anticipation of better times or rapacious rent seeking," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 28-44, January.
- John Livernois, 2009. "On the Empirical Significance of the Hotelling Rule," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 22-41, Winter.
- Owen, Nick A. & Inderwildi, Oliver R. & King, David A., 2010. "The status of conventional world oil reserves--Hype or cause for concern?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4743-4749, August.
- Kirk Hamilton & Giovanni Ruta, 2009. "Wealth Accounting, Exhaustible Resources and Social Welfare," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 53-64, January.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1976.
"On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1974. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy," Working papers 125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Kirk Hamilton & John Hartwick, 2005. "Investing exhaustible resource rents and the path of consumption," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 615-621, May.
- Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-56, May.
- Farzin, Y. H., 2001. "The impact of oil price on additions to US proven reserves," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 271-292, July.
- Kirk Hamilton & Cees Withagen, 2007. "Savings growth and the path of utility," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 703-713, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6505. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.