We examine the impact of resource windfall on the standard of living both in the short-run and long-run, using a sample of 130 countries, 1963-2007. Then, we systematically investigate the effect of resource windfall on welfare in three different groups of countries: We find that in the short-run resource windfall is welfare enhancing in the whole sample, especially via increases in income and decreases in inequality. However, in
SSA countries, the size of welfare improvement is small and it is smaller and almost zero
after one year in fragile Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. In the whole sample, a
resource windfall shock leads to significant welfare growth even in the long-run, but we
couldn’t find any significant long-run effect of resource windfall in SSA countries.
This Selected Issues paper describes external balance assessment in Angola. Angola’s external balance appears sustainable under current assumptions regarding the evolution of oil prices and output/exports, but the economy’s lack of diversification implies that it remains highly vulnerable to declines in the oil price and disruptions in oil production. Moreover, to the extent that the commercial viability of future oil production from the pre-salt deposits is still uncertain, risks to oil output are on the downside. Given the high pass-through of the nominal exchange rate to prices, improving competitiveness should focus on measures to improve the country’s business climate and infrastructure. The assessment of reserve adequacy shows that international reserves are currently adequate for precautionary purposes, but the high (although declining) level of dollarization in the financial system implies that a higher benchmark is appropriate; staff sees limited scope for drawing down reserves.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.
The paper provides an alternative explanation for the "resource curse" based on the income effect resulting from high government current spending in resource rich economies. Using a simple life cycle framework, we show that private investment in the non-resource sector is adversely affected if private agents expect extra government current spending financed through resource sector revenues in the future. This income channel of the resource curse is stronger for countries with lower degrees of openness and forward altruism. We empirically validate these findings by estimating non-hydrocarbon sector growth regressions using a panel of 25 oil-exporting countries over 1992-2005.