For his research proposal ‘Restricting raw material exports — bad for the world, good at home?’ Spatial Economics’ Steven Poelhekke (projectleader) together with Maarten Bosker (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Paul Pelzl (Norwegian School of Economics) received funding from the NWO 2022 Open Competition SSH – M funding round.
Industrial raw materials such as copper, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements are critical inputs in countless production processes, including renewable energy, lithium batteries, and other inputs supporting the green transition. Many developing countries simply export raw materials while most value added is generated in advanced economies, which lowers global consumer prices but does little to reduce poverty and global inequality. Many countries therefore started to voluntarily restrict raw material exports, often to promote local processing industries. Does that put them on a path to prosperity, and what are the implications for trade, global value chains, and the energy transition?