Luck or skill? An examination of the Ehrlich–Simon bet

Luck or skill? An examination of the Ehrlich–Simon bet In 1980, Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon placed a famous bet on whether the prices of a bundle of natural resources would rise or fall over the ensuing decade. Simon won the bet as the real price of the bundle fell significantly, and the result of this bet has been taken as proof that technological progress is likely to overcome that of any Neo-Malthusian concerns about natural resource scarcity. Contrary to the popular perception, however, an examination of the price history of the identical bundle of goods from 1900 to 2008 shows that Ehrlich and not Simon would have won a majority of the bets over the past century and would have done so by a wide margin. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Economics Elsevier

Luck or skill? An examination of the Ehrlich–Simon bet

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0921-8009
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.ecolecon.2010.03.007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In 1980, Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon placed a famous bet on whether the prices of a bundle of natural resources would rise or fall over the ensuing decade. Simon won the bet as the real price of the bundle fell significantly, and the result of this bet has been taken as proof that technological progress is likely to overcome that of any Neo-Malthusian concerns about natural resource scarcity. Contrary to the popular perception, however, an examination of the price history of the identical bundle of goods from 1900 to 2008 shows that Ehrlich and not Simon would have won a majority of the bets over the past century and would have done so by a wide margin.

Journal

Ecological EconomicsElsevier

Published: May 15, 2010

References

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