Have you ever noticed that factory input demand rarely pushes overall demand above supply levels?
Bottom line up front: If a factory input good is supply limited, the demand/supply ratio for that good won't rise much above 1.1 (assuming pops are all satisfied), even if the factories using that good are highly profitable. This prevents the good's price from rising beyond its base value. (see my theory of how Vic 2 pricing works here, and tell me if I'm wrong).
This has three broad negative consequences for the game:
-Pops in RGO's that produce said good don't get a bonus for producing something that's really rare, and are no more likely to stay and produce more of it rather than move and produce something else more common.
-Industries are then limited by rare goods, as RGO's don't produce any more.
-Low prestige nations cannot compete with GP's that suck up all of limited supply, no matter how much more efficiently the small nations are using said supply.
Here's my llong explanation
I've been playing PDM (a mod) lately, in which supplies of coal and rubber are frequently industry limiters (by design, of course). Overall pop demand doesn't meet the total supply for those goods, so factories use up the excess supply. The thing is, no matter how profitable those factories are, they are never able to demand inputs much more than what is supplied on the markets.
They can't, of course, because a factory only demands exactly what it needs to produce it's output, and once it maxes out the available supply, throughput is limited to that level, and input demand is limited as well. Thus, input demand is roughly limited by input supply.
To be sure, a few factories will occasionally flash the tooltip, "not enough good is available on the world market," generally before they start to fail due to the lack of some cheap input. The result is a good demand that is only slightly above supply, and a price that never rises above it's normal value.
Thus, a supposedly rare input good that limits highly profitable industrial production is unlikely to rise in price in Vic2. Because the price stays low, what few high ranking nations that can access that good have industries that expand until all the WM supply is used. Moreover, pops that produce the good in RGO's have no more incentive to produce this good than any other more common good. Finally, no matter how profitable a particular factory could be, if the good is unavailable, that factory will never survive if it's too low in the list.
Of course, I noticed this little inconsistency by playing PDM, but I think the fundamental causes are hardcoded in Vic 2. If I'm wrong and it's just a PDM thing, then hopefully a nice mod will move this thread to the PDM forum.
My suggestion (though incomplete):
Demand generated by factories shouldn't simply be the the amount of a good a factory needs to maintain desired production. A profitable factory should be inclined to produce more, and thus demands more input goods than it is currently using.
Perhaps factory demand should be scaled by it's current profit, perhaps by (1 + profit/input_cost)?
One real problem with a plan like that, though, is the fact that profitable industries would drive up good prices far above what pops can consume. Of course this can happen in real life. Still in Vic 2, this means that what little pops could afford would be sucked up first by skyrocketing industry demand.
Anyone got a better idea?