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Title: Competitiveness, environmental performance and technical change : the case of the Bolivian mining industry.
Author: Loayza, Ismael Fernando.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3611 8631
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1995
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This thesis develops and tests a dynamic economic model of the mining firm where changes in pollution per unit of output are related to changes in competitiveness. The model assumes that mining companies compete through the generation of technical change and competition selects between successful and unsuccessful companies through variations in their stocks of production capacity and technological capability. The mining company model, therefore, comprises a system of equations which describes its investment behaviour and another which describes its pollution per unit of output. A multiple case-study, encompassing four Bolivian mining companies and seven mining operations, was used to test the model. Competitiveness was evaluated at the corporate level and estimated through the mining firm's market share of worldwide production. Pollution per unit of output was evaluated at the operation level using both quantitative and qualitative data concerning metal recovery rates, reagent consumption, water management and waste disposal systems. The main finding of this study is that a mining firm's dynamic efficiency significantly affects the internalisation of its environmental costs. A firm's dynamic efficiency is its ability to innovate and gain economies of scale. As a mining firm's ability to compete is significantly influenced by its dynamic efficiency, the improvement of (decline in) a mining firm's ability to compete tends to reduce (increase) its pollution per unit of output. This is because improvements in a firm's ability to compete encourage investment in technological capability and production capacity. The accumulation of technological capability results in technical change. Incremental technical change reduces waste and losses in harmful substances per unit of output and prompts enlargements in production capacity. The accumulation of production capacity associates improvements in waste disposal and/or reductions in the use and pollution of complementary environmental resources used in the mining production process (such as water). At the theoretical level, the thesis connects the theory of production, in particular, the theory of depletion with the theory of pollution. It shows that changes in expectations of the growth rate of user cost (which is the opportunity cost of exhaustible resources) influence a firm's dynamic efficiency through changes in technological capability and production capacity. Since under conditions of dynamic competition, a firm's externalisation of environmental costs is determined by its dynamic efficiency as well as by market failure in pricing environmental resources. Environmental policy must comprise policies to deal with not only externalities, which are inherent to the management of environmental resources in market economies, but also dynamic inefficiency.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internal and EU commerce & consumer affairs