NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth

James D. Hamilton

NBER Working Paper No. 17759
Issued in January 2012
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

This paper explores details behind the phenomenal increase in global crude oil production over the last century and a half and the implications if that trend should be reversed. I document that a key feature of the growth in production has been exploitation of new geographic areas rather than application of better technology to existing sources, and suggest that the end of that era could come soon. The economic dislocations that historically followed temporary oil supply disruptions are reviewed, and the possible implications of that experience for what the transition era could look like are explored.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17759

Published: “Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth,” in Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, pp. 29-63, edited by Roger Fouqet, Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.

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