Some Aspects of Resource and Behavioral Economics
Sammanfattning: This thesis consists of four essays in resource and behavioral economics.Resource Extraction, Capital Accumulation and Time HorizonThe paper shows that relaxing the standard infinite horizon assumption can explain the patterns of exhaustible resource extraction and prices for the last century. An empirical test proposes a time horizon of roughly 28 years to be most likely. Model calibration yields an oil price which fits the falling price after WWII and suggests that the sharply increasing price after 1998 is due to scarcity.Optimal Forest Rotation under Climate Change The scenario of forests growing faster over time, due to climate change, is analyzed. It is shown numerically that ignoring future changes is highly likely to be accurate in terms of harvesting and will cause insignificant profit losses.Tragedy of the Commons versus the Love of Variety The opposing effects of overharvesting of renewable resources when property rights are missing and increased consumption variety, both due to trade, are analyzed. Trade increases welfare if the resource has strong regenerative power. If, instead, the resource regenerates slowly, then sufficient increases in the number of trade partners harms welfare and the stock may even collapse. Correcting policies may be very harsh and still improve upon laissez faire.The Distribution of Revealed Preferences under Social Pressure Stated preferences, such as declared political opinions, are studied when individuals make the trade off between being true to their real opinions and conforming to a social norm. In orthodox societies, individuals will tend to either conform fully or ignore the social norm while individuals in liberal societies will tend to compromise between the two extremes. The model sheds light on phenomena such as polarization, alienation and hypocrisy. Furthermore, it suggests that orthodoxy cannot be maintained under pluralism.
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