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Christoph B. Rosenberg and Tapio O. Saavalainen

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mr. Andrew M. Warner

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mr. Guido De Blasio and Mr. A. Dalmazzo
The paper models the incentives for a self-interested government to implement "good policies". While good policies lead to investment and growth, they reduce the government's ability to increase supporters' consumption. The model predicts that resource abundance is conductive to poor policies and, consequently, to low investment. The implications of the model are broadly supported by evidence on sub-Saharan African countries. In particular, countries that are rich in natural resources tend to have lower institutional quality and worse macroeconomic and trade policies.
Mr. Johannes Herderschee, Ran Li, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Whereas most of the literature related to the so-called “resource curse” tends to emphasize on institutional factors and public policies, in this research we focus on the role of the financial sector, which has been surprisingly overlooked. We find that countries that have financial systems with more depth, as well as those that actively manage their central banks’ balance sheets experience less exchange-rate appreciation than countries that do not. We analyze the relationship between these two findings and suggest that they appear to follow separate mechanisms.
International Monetary Fund
This paper investigates the impact of long-run terms-of-trade shocks. Analytically, we show that, if capital goods are largely importable or the labor supply is sufficiently elastic, then natural-resource booms increase aggregate investment and worsen the current account, but Dutch ‘Disease’ effects are weak. We then examine 18 oil-exporting developing countries during 1965-89. Favorable terms-of-trade shocks increase investment and (especially government) consumption, but reduce medium-term savings; hence, the current account deteriorates. Nontradable output increases, in response to real appreciations, but Dutch Disease effects are strikingly absent. Investment, consumption, and nontradable output respond more to a terms-of-trade decline than to an increase.
Ernesto Crivelli and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta
This paper uses a newly constructed revenue dataset of 35 resource-rich countries for the period 1992-2009 to analyze the impact of expanding resource revenues on different types of domestic (non resource) tax revenues. Overall, we find a statistically significant negative relationship between resource revenues and total domestic (non resource) revenues, including for the major tax components. For each additional percentage point of GDP in resource revenues, there is a reduction in domestic (non resource) revenues of about 0.3 percentage points of GDP. We find this primarily occurs through reduced effort on taxes on goods and services—in particular, the VAT— followed by a smaller negative impact on corporate income and trade taxes.
Munseob Lee and Cheikh A. Gueye
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.
Nir Klein
Recent empirical studies have shown an inverse relation between natural resource intensity and long-term growth, implying that the natural resources generally impede economic growth through various channels (the “natural resource curse”). This paper departs from these studies by exploring the intersectoral linkages between oil and non-oil sectors in a cross-country perspective. The paper shows that the applicability of “natural resource curse” across oilbased economies should be treated with caution as the externalities of the oil sector highly depend on the countries’ degree of oil-intensity. In particular, the results show that, in low oil-intensity economies, the incentives to strengthen both fiscal and private sector institutions lead to positive inter-sectoral externalities. In contrast, weaker incentives in high oil-intensity economies adversely affect fiscal and private sector institutions and consequently lead to negative inter-sectoral externalities.
International Monetary Fund
We review the literature on Dutch disease, and document that shocks that trigger foreign exchange inflows (such as natural resource booms, surges in foreign aid, remittances, or capital inflows) appreciate the real exchange rate, generate factor reallocation, and reduce manufacturing output and net exports. We also observe that real exchange rate misalignment due to overvaluation and higher volatility of the real exchange rate lower growth. Regarding the effect of undervaluation of the exchange rate on economic growth, the evidence is mixed and inconclusive. However, there is no evidence in the literature that Dutch disease reduces overall economic growth. Policy responses should aim at adequately managing the boom and the risks associated with it.
Mr. Andrew M. Warner
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.