Applying Hubbert Curves and Linearization to Rock Phosphate

12 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2011

See all articles by Cullen S. Hendrix

Cullen S. Hendrix

University of Denver - Josef Korbel School of International Studies; Peterson Institute for International Economics

Date Written: November 23, 2011

Abstract

Rock phosphate is a critical, nonrenewable resource for which there is no known substitute in agriculture. Cordell, Drangert, and White (2009) use Hubbert methodology (1956) to estimate the peak -- the year after which production will monotonically decline -- of world rock phosphate production at 2033-34. This note assesses the applicability of Hubbert’s (1949) peak methodology to world rock phosphate production, based on (a) the ability of the model to produce accurate in-sample and out-of-sample forecasts and stable estimates of ultimately recoverable reserves, and (b) the degree to which the rock phosphate market approximates the theoretical conditions underpinning the Hubbert model. In both respects, the application of Hubbert methodology to rock phosphate is found to be problematic.

Keywords: peak phosphate, Hubbert curves, Hubbert linearization, rock phosphate

JEL Classification: Q31, Q01, Q39

Suggested Citation

Hendrix, Cullen S., Applying Hubbert Curves and Linearization to Rock Phosphate (November 23, 2011). Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper No. 11-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1963791 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1963791

Cullen S. Hendrix (Contact Author)

University of Denver - Josef Korbel School of International Studies ( email )

Denver, CO 80208
United States

Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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