Friday, June 26, 2015

NYT: Inquiry Blames South African Police in Killings of Miners at Marikana

NYT: South African President Jacob Zuma released the report of the inquiry in the killings at the Marikana mine back in 2012. Last year we also featured the story. The report puts the blame at the police, and absolved Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s deputy president since 2014, and at the time of the massacre a Lonmin non-executive board member and former leader of one of the unions. He has been accused by lawyers of victims and their families to have instigated the police to suppress the striking miners, who were members of a competing union. Now that he has been absolved, according to one reporter [], his path to the presidency may be open .

Friday, June 19, 2015

Book: Natural Resources and Economic Growth Learning from History

A new edited book appears to give a nice overview of some historical episodes of various countries and there dealings with natural resources:

Natural Resources and Economic Growth. Learning from History

edited by Marc Badia-MirĂ³, Vicente Pinilla, Henry Willebald

Published by Routlegde, further info here [] and a preview at Google Books []

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New research: The local economic impacts of resource abundance : what have we learned?

In the line with the reviews by Gamu, Le Billon and Spiegel, and Cust and Poelhekke [both],

Fernando M. Aragona, Punam Chuhan-Pole and Bryan Christopher Land of the World Bank present a new overview:

The local economic impacts of resource abundance : what have we learned?

What are the socioeconomic impacts of resource abundance? Are these effects different at the national and local levels? How could resource booms benefit (or harm) local communities? This paper reviews a vast literature examining these questions, with an emphasis on empirical works. First, the evidence and theoretical arguments behind the so-called resource curse, and other impacts at the country level, are reviewed. This cross-country literature highlights the importance of institutions. Then, a simple analytical framework is developed to understand how resource booms could impact local communities, and the available empirical evidence is examined. This emerging literature exploits within-country variation and is opening new ways to think about the relation between natural resources and economic development. The main message is that others factors, such as market mechanisms and local spillovers, are also relevant for understanding the impact of resource abundance. Finally, the paper discusses issues related to fiscal decentralization and provides ideas for future research.
available here []

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Today's OxCARRE's seminar: Ryan Kellogg, Hotelling under pressure.

Today we have Ryan Kellogg [] (University of Michigan) presenting his work with Soren T. Anderson []  (Michigan State University) and Stephen W. Salant [] (University of Michigan)

Hotelling Under Pressure

We show that oil production from existing wells in Texas does not respond to price incentives. Drilling activity and costs, however, do respond strongly to prices. To explain these facts, we reformulate Hotelling's (1931) classic model of exhaustible resource extraction as a drilling problem: firms choose when to drill, but production from existing wells is constrained by reservoir pressure, which decays as oil is extracted. The model implies a modified Hotelling rule for drilling revenues net of costs and explains why production is typically constrained. It also rationalizes regional production peaks and observed patterns of price expectations following demand shocks.
Available here []

Monday, June 1, 2015

FT: European energy groups seek UN backing for carbon pricing system

The FT [] writes: 
Six of Europe’s largest oil and gas companies have banded together for the first time to ask the UN to let them help devise a plan to stop global warming.
These are Royal Dutch Shell (Dutch-UK), BP (UK), Total (France), Statoil (Norway), Eni (Italy) and BG Group (UK).
The chief executives of ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest US oil producers, said last week they would not be joining any European company initiative to forge a common position on global warming.
Further analysis about the issue, and how these companies try to address the potential risk that their assets under ground become worthless, is given here [].