nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2009‒10‒31
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Valuation of Marine Ecosystem Threshold Effects: Application of Choice Experiments to Value Algal Bloom in the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria By Taylor, Timothy; Longo, A.
  2. Renewable Resource Management with Alternative Sources: the Case of Multiple Aquifers and a "Backstop" Resource By James Roumasset; Christopher Wada
  3. On the Theory of Exhaustible Resources: Ricardo vs. Hotelling By Heinz D. Kurz; Neri Salvadori
  4. The Environment and Directed Technical Change By Daron Acemoglu; Philippe Aghion; Leonardo Bursztyn; David Hemous

  1. By: Taylor, Timothy; Longo, A.
    Abstract: Algal bloom arises in part from anthropogenic emissions of nutrients into the coastal zone. Increased interest in water quality in coastal and marine areas stemming from the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive leads to important questions in terms of policies to address nutrient loadings. This paper presents the results from a choice experiment for the valuation of algal blooms in Varna Bay, Bulgaria. Varna Bay is an important tourist destination and a large port city on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. Algal bloom events have been experienced frequently in this area. A choice experiment questionnaire was developed to be applied in Varna Bay. The key attributes used were visibility, duration of bloom and the amount of congestion on the beach. The amount of bloom is found to be important - respondents are willing to pay for a program that entails 1 week of algal bloom about 33 Leva (s.e. 8.09) when there is high visibility; 21 Leva (s.e. 5.75) with medium visibility and 9 Leva (s.e. 3.48) with low visibility. Respondents are willing to pay more for programs that offer shorter duration of algal bloom. The marginal price for one metre of extra space between the respondent and the nearest person is equal to 0.38 Leva.
    Keywords: marine ecosystem; threshold effects;
    Date: 2009
  2. By: James Roumasset (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Christopher Wada (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: While renewable resource economics is typically confined to one source and one aggregate demand, resource managers must often decide how to manage multiple sources of a resource simultaneously. In addition, studies of extraction sequencing are typically confined to non-renewable resources. We propose a dynamic optimization model to determine the efficient allocation of groundwater when two coastal aquifers are available for exploitation. We find that Herfindahl’s least-cost-first result for nonrenewable resources does not necessarily apply to renewable resources, even when there is only one demand. Along the optimal trajectory extraction may switch from single to simultaneous use, depending on how the marginal opportunity cost of each resource evolves over time. A numerical simulation for the South Oahu aquifer system, which allows for differentiation of users by elevation and hence distribution costs, illustrates the switching behavior.
    Keywords: Renewable resources, dynamic optimization, multiple resources
    JEL: Q25 Q28 C61
    Date: 2009–10–14
  3. By: Heinz D. Kurz; Neri Salvadori
    Abstract: The paper compares, and eventually combines, the approaches of Harold Hotelling and David Ricardo to the theory of exhaustible resources. It is argued that Hotelling and Ricardo had in mind worlds that differ in important respects. According to Ricardo the exploitation of deposits of resources is typically subject to capacity constraints which necessitate the working of differently fertile mines side by side and which imply that the classical theory of differential rent applies. Hotelling on the other hand assumed that the amount of the resource that can be extracted in a given period of time is only constrained by the amount of it left over from the preceding period; his emphasis was therefore on royalties and not differential rent. A model is then elaborated which brings together the insights of both authors and allows one to trace relative prices and income distribution over time.
    Date: 2009–09
  4. By: Daron Acemoglu; Philippe Aghion; Leonardo Bursztyn; David Hemous
    Abstract: This paper introduces endogenous and directed technical change in a growth model with environmental constraints and limited resources. A unique final good is produced by combining inputs from two sectors. One of these sectors uses "dirty" machines and thus creates environmental degradation. Research can be directed to improving the technology of machines in either sector. We characterize dynamic tax policies that achieve sustainable growth or maximize intertemporal welfare, as a function of the degree of substitutability between clean and dirty inputs, environmental and resource stocks, and cross-country technological spillovers. We show that: (i) in the case where the inputs are sufficiently substitutable, sustainable long-run growth can be achieved with temporary taxation of dirty innovation and production; (ii) optimal policy involves both "carbon taxes" and research subsidies, so that excessive use of carbon taxes is avoided; (iii) delay in intervention is costly: the sooner and the stronger is the policy response, the shorter is the slow growth transition phase; (iv) the use of an exhaustible resource in dirty input production helps the switch to clean innovation under laissez-faire when the two inputs are substitutes. Under reasonable parameter values (corresponding to those used in existing models with exogenous technology) and with sufficient substitutability between inputs, it is optimal to redirect technical change towards clean technologies immediately and optimal environmental regulation need not reduce long-run growth. We also show that in a two-country extension, even though optimal environmental policy involves global policy coordination, when the two inputs are sufficiently substitutable environmental regulation only in the North may be sufficient to avoid a global disaster.
    JEL: C65 O30 O31 O33
    Date: 2009–10

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