Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Natural resources, economic growth and geography

González-Val, Rafael and Pueyo, Fernando (2019): Natural resources, economic growth and geography.

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Abstract

Worldwide materials extraction increased by a factor of 8.4 over the course of the 20th century. In the meantime, global GDP and population increased by factors of about 22 and 4, respectively. This reveals that one of the key factors driving the increase in the exploitation of the resources was the growth in world population, although mitigated by the reduction in the intensity in the use of the resources in production. In this paper, we present a model that combines the theory of endogenous growth and the economy of natural resources, but taking into account the geographical distribution of economic activity. Indeed, the New Economic Geography provides insights about two elements that, although speeding up GDP growth, can curb the pressure on natural resources, namely the reduction in transports costs and a boost to pace of innovation.

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