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A supply-side story of oil and gas: how fear of the future dictates behaviour today
Bligaard Nielsen, T. (2016). A supply-side story of oil and gas: how fear of the future dictates behaviour today. PhD Thesis. London School of Economics and Political Science: London. 177 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation


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  • Bligaard Nielsen, T.

    The aim of this dissertation is to determine the spatial and dynamic mechanisms that govern the supply of oil and natural gas. Specifically, the research evaluates how fear of the future affects behavior today and thereby it tests whether non-renewable resource owners behave in the forward-looking manner described by Harold Hotelling in the 1930s. Understanding what governs the supply of oil and natural gas is vital, as these fuels have significant economic and environmental implications for the planet. Integrating original research papers, the dissertation unfolds in seven chapters. The first and second chapters provide the foundation for the following research, by introducing the existing literature on oil and gas management. The subsequent three chapters discuss common pool problems as a method of identifying forward-looking behavior. Retaining this focus on weak property rights, chapter six evaluates the short-term relationship between government stability and oil extraction in authoritarian petro-states. The final chapter summarizes the main findings and outlines key implications. Drawing on new datasets and novel methodological tools, this dissertation demonstrates how fear of common pool problems governs exploration and extraction in the oil and gas industry today. However, contrary to conventional theory, this dissertation does not find that political instability motivates authoritarian regimes to accelerate their extraction.

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