The global boom in hydrocarbon, metal and mineral prices since the year 2000 created huge
economic rents - rents which, once invested, were widely expected to promote productivity
growth in other parts of the booming economies, creating a lasting legacy of the boom years.
This paper asks whether this has happened. To properly address this question the empirical
strategy must look behind the veil of the booming sector because that, by definition, will
boom in a boom. So the paper considers new data on GDP per person outside of the resource
sector. Despite having vast sums to invest, GDP growth per-capita outside of the booming
sectors appears on average to have been no faster during the boom years than before. The
paper finds no country in which (non-resource) growth per-person has been statisticallysignificantly
higher during the boom years. In some Gulf states, oil rents have financed a
migration-facilitated economic expansion with small or negative productivity gains. Overall,
there is little evidence the booms have left behind the anticipated productivity transformation
in the domestic economies. It appears that current policies are, overall, prooving insufficient
to spur lasting development outside resource intensive sectors.
Will Ghana’s oil production from 2011 accelerate progress toward middle-income status, or will it retard gains in living standards through a possible "resource curse"? This paper examines the likelihood of "resource curse" effects, drawing on a dataset of 150 low and middle income countries from 1973 to 2008 using static and dynamic panel estimation techniques. Results confirm that resource rich countries in Ghana’s income range do experience slower growth than their more diversified peers, an effect that appears to be related to weaker governance. Provided that Ghana can preserve and improve its economic governance and also strengthen fiscal management, prospects look good for converting its oil wealth into sustained strong economic growth.
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.
This paper investigates the linkages between oil and growth in Congo, where there appears to be no evidence of direct spillover effects. The empirical results suggest however that political instability has a negative effect on non-oil growth, and that the presence of oil could have fueled political instability by being associated with weakening institutions. The results also show that fiscal discipline is beneficial for growth. In addition, there are strong linkages between world oil prices and the real effective exchange rate, with movements in the latter having important indirect repercussions for growth.
The Gulf of Guinea's tremendous potential is creating investment opportunities for the region. Some of its resources, such as oil, minerals, and forests, continue to attract significant investments whereas others, like natural gas, could be exploited to their full potential if necessary investments were undertaken. Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea has to cope with numerous challenges, both exogenous and endogenous, before it can fully benefit from its riches. One of these problems stems from the overwhelmingly weak institutions and governance, pointed by stylized facts, which add to the risks of "natural resource curse" and can feed the theory of the "Paradox of Plenty." The case is made that regional institutional arrangements and increased involvement of the international community and the African Diaspora should complement the efforts in which countries in the region should engage to address policy and governance issues. Complementary avenues are proposed, including maintaining stability and security, making better use of the region's own assets, putting in place a favorable business environment, and augmenting exports with value addition.
In recent years, observers have called on the IMF to pay closer attention to certain issues that do not fall directly within its mandate, such as the environment. This booklet reviews IMF's approach to environmental issues and when and how the IMF integrates environmental concerns into its work.