[OPE-L:6016] rentier state

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 19:02:34 EDT

i am having problems with mail, but i think that you have challenged nwoke's 
argument by saying that coal is not a perfect substitute for oil. I think your 
reasoning was based on the physical differences between the natural resources; 
that is, you were not saying that at a certain price coal would indeed be 
substituted for oil. Coal simply cannot be substituted for oil in several 
uses.  OK but does Nwoke's argument depend on coal being a perfect substitute? 
I had the sense that Nwoke was arguing that coal represented the intensive 
margin in energy production and that high cost coal enters into the price of 
oil. I don't think coal has to be a perfect substitute to play this role.  Do 
you find this argument suspect? I don't know whether it's correct, but I don't 
think you were speaking to the idea. 

Moreover, to the extent that there are no substitutes for the exhaustible 
resource of oil, wouldn't there be a stronger possibility of monopoly profit 
and thus absolute rent in the production of oil? so i do not understand your 

lastly, there is the question of differential rent (both the Ricardian and 
additional Marxian kind) that may be enjoyed the Saudi rentier state. 
at any rate, if you would like to elaborate exactly what your criticism of 
nwoke's argument is, I would appreciate it.  

at any rate, the energy market is obviously exceedingly complicated. you will 
not be surprised that i think there may be something very important in how 
grossmann attempted to make sense of the struggle for the control of raw 
materials in the context of the all important tendency towards breakdown, but 
this raises another set of issues. 

i hope my email is working when i get home. 



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Oct 02 2001 - 00:00:05 EDT