Many governments assign use licenses for natural resources, such as radio spectrum, fishing rights, and mineral extraction rights, through auctions or other market-like mechanisms. License design affects resource users' investment incentives as well as the efficiency of asset allocation. No existing license design achieves first-best outcomes on both dimensions. Long-term licenses give owners high investment incentives but impede reallocation to high-valued entrants. Short-term licenses improve allocative efficiency but discourage investment. We propose a simple new mechanism, the depreciating license, and we argue that it navigates this trade-off more effectively than existing license designs.
Weyl, E. Glen, and Anthony Lee Zhang.
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Renewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy
Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy
Environmental Economics: Government Policy