Distribution of phosphorus resources between rich and poor countries: The effect of recycling

H.P. Weikard, D. Seyhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus (P) is an essential input into agriculture with no substitute. Thus international and intertemporal P allocations greatly impact food security which requires increased food production for a growing world population. As high quality phosphorus mines are being depleted, recycling gains importance and developed countries explore new technologies for P recycling. We analyse the effects of P recycling in developed countries on global extraction of rock phosphates and the imports of developing countries. We build a resource extraction model for a competitive fertilizer market that reflects the fact that most developed countries have P-saturated soils while soils in many developing countries are P-deficient. Our model extends a simple cake eating problem. We consider two types of countries that differ in demand and recycling options. We find that P recycling in developed countries does not only prolong the resource life-time, but it also increases the developing counties' share of the resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1749-1755
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • ecology
  • africa
  • flows

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