The exhaustion and depletion of natural resources.
Existing analyses of resource management generally take as given the possibilities for profitable recovery with declining stocks as a prerequisite for resource exhaustion. Presumably, though, one would like to characterize conditions on the extraction technology which insure the profitability of resource recovery as the stock becomes arbitrarily small. Such a characterization is provided in this note where it is shown that if the resource production technology is convex, resources recovery is profitable for any positive stock despite depletion effects. Consequently a nonreplenishable resource stock will either to totally exhausted in finite time or will gradually be driven to zero, given normal convexity assumptions, regardless of whether the resource is competitively exploited or centrally managed. Of course the prospects for the exhaustion of renewable resources are harder to assess.-Author
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