Conflicts over Resource Ownership: The Use of Public Policy by Private Interests

 

Summary of

Conflicts over Resource Ownership: The Use of Public Policy by Private Interests

By Albert M. Church

Summary written by T.A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium


Citation: Conflicts over Resource Ownership: The Use of Public Policy by Private Interests, Albert M. Church, (Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1982), 221pp.


Conflicts over Resource Ownership: The Use of Public Policy by Private Interests will be of interest to those who seek an understanding of the relationship between public policy and private interests. The author states that the book "is about the competition among private interests over the receipt and control of natural-resource revenues. It also addresses the private interests' use of public policy. The central hypothesis is that effective resource ownership and control are shared among many private interests, and these arrangements are determined by historical, social, judicial, legislative, and economic institutions."

The first chapter is an overview. The second chapter offers case studies of energy tax and regulatory policies in the United States and Canada. The next chapter is an analysis of competition over resource rents and the role of the public sector. Toward that end the author discusses why abstractions are difficult to draw from the case studies. After consideration of the special characteristics of natural resources and economic rent, two models of collective behavior are offered. The fourth chapter concerns modeling natural resources. The author examines: the relationship between economic modeling and physical laws, economics and conservation of energy and mass, and the elements and techniques of models. Finally, he offers some modeling techniques.

The fifth and final chapter is an examination of the modeling of natural resource supply and demand. This chapter begins with a discussion of the technology of production and consideration of micro-economic models of natural resources. The author examines a theory of renewable resources, and empirical tests of resource prices. He also addresses the relationship between taxes and natural resources and tax effects on non-renewable and renewable resources. The text is accompanied by tables and figures and a selected bibliography.

Conflicts over Resource Ownership: The Use of Public Policy by Private Interests requires of the reader a moderate understanding of economics and the more general topic of natural resources.