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Economic growth and property rights on natural resources

Kirill Borissov () and Mikhail Pakhnin ()

Economic Theory, 2018, vol. 65, issue 2, No 8, 423-482

Abstract: Abstract We consider two models of economic growth with exhaustible natural resources and agents heterogeneous in their time preferences. In the first model, we assume private ownership of natural resources and show that every competitive equilibrium converges to a balanced-growth equilibrium with the long-run rate of growth being determined by the discount factor of the most patient agents. In the second model, natural resources are public property and the resource extraction rate is determined by majority voting. For this model, we define an intertemporal voting equilibrium and prove that it also converges to a balanced-growth equilibrium. In this scenario, the long-run rate of growth is determined by the median discount factor. Our results suggest that if the most patient agents do not constitute a majority of the population, private ownership of natural resources results in a higher rate of growth than public ownership. At the same time, private ownership leads to higher inequality than public ownership, and if inequality impedes growth, then the public property regime is likely to result in a higher long-run rate of growth. However, an appropriate redistributive policy can eliminate the negative impact of inequality on growth.

Keywords: Economic growth; Exhaustible resources; Heterogeneous agents; Voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 E13 O40 Q32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Economic Growth and Property Rights on Natural Resources (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Economic Growth and Property Rights on Natural Resources (2014) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s00199-016-1018-8

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