Measuring natural resource scarcity: Theory and practice

V. Kerry Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Concern over the implications of natural resource availability for economic well-being has been among the most long-lived policy issues involving economists. Scarcity and Growth by Barnett and Morse has remained the most influential evaluation of these issues. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the Barnett-Morse methodology. Using the results from comparative static and dynamic models three scarcity indexes are evaluated for their consistency in signaling changes in the availability of natural resources. In addition, the paper reports a reconsideration of the movements in the relative prices of extractive outputs to 1973. This analysis indicates that the empirical evidence alone is not sufficient to arrive at a conclusion as to whether there is increasing scarcity of natural resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-171
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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