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Resource Windfalls, Optimal Public Investment and Redistribution

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  • Alan H. Gelb
  • Arnaud Dupuy
  • Rabah Arezki

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal public investment decisions in countries experiencing a resource windfall. To do so, we use an augmented version of the Permanent Income framework with public investment faced with adjustment costs capturing the associated administrative capacity as well as government direct transfers. A key assumption is that those adjustment costs rise with the size of the resource windfall. The main results from the analytical model are threefold. First, a larger resource windfall commands a lower level of public capital but a higher level of redistribution through transfers. Second, weaker administrative capacity lowers the increase in optimal public capital following a resource windfall. Third, higher total factor productivity in the non-resource sector reduces the degree of des-investment in public capital commanded by weaker administrative capacity. We further extend our basic model to allow for "investing in investing" - that is public investment in administrative capacity - by endogenizing the adjustment cost in public investment. Results from the numerical simulations suggest, among other things, that a higher initial stock of public administrative "know how" leads to a higher level of optimal public investment following a resource windfall. Implications for policy are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/200.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/200

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Keywords: Public investment; Economic models; Natural resources; Resource allocation; Revenues; capital investment; investment management; investor protection; public investment programs; net foreign assets; government expenditure; private capital; natural capital; investment projects; investment decisions; expropriation; domestic investment; discounted value; foreign companies; level of public spending;

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References

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  1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Todd Moss, 2011. "Oil to Cash: Fighting the Resource Curse through Cash Transfers," Working Papers id:3489, eSocialSciences.
  3. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2004. "Why doesn't capital flow from rich to poor countries? An empirical investigation," 2004 Meeting Papers 53, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  5. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  7. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2012. "The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey of Diagnoses and Some Prescriptions," Working Paper Series rwp12-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Era Dabla-Norris & Jim Brumby & Annette Kyobe & Zac Mills & Chris Papageorgiou, 2012. "Investing in public investment: an index of public investment efficiency," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 235-266, September.
  9. Steven Barnett & Rolando Ossowski, 2002. "Operational Aspects of Fiscal Policy in Oil-Producing Countries," IMF Working Papers 02/177, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Marito Garcia & Charity M. T. Moore, 2012. "The Cash Dividend : The Rise of Cash Transfer Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2246, October.
  11. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
  12. Alan Gelb & Caroline Decker, 2012. "Cash at Your Fingertips: Biometric Technology for Transfers in Developing Countries," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 29(1), pages 91-117, 01.
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Cited by:
  1. Go, Delfin S. & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen & Utz, Robert, 2013. "Dutch disease and spending strategies in a resource-rich low-income country -- the case of Niger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6691, The World Bank.
  2. Cavalcanti, Carlos B. & Marrero, Gustavo A. & Le, Tuan Minh, 2014. "Measuring the impact of debt-financed public investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6766, The World Bank.
  3. Shantayanan Devarajan, Marcelo Giugale, 2013. "The Case for Direct Transfers of Resource Revenues in Africa-Working Paper 333," Working Papers 333, Center for Global Development.
  4. Issouf Samaké & Priscilla S. Muthoora & Bruno Versailles, 2013. "Fiscal Sustainability, Public Investment, and Growth in Natural Resource-Rich, Low-Income Countries: The Case of Cameroon," IMF Working Papers 13/144, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Rabah Arezki & Herbert Lui & Marc Quintyn & Frederik G Toscani, 2012. "Education Attainment in Public Administration Around the World: Evidence from a New Dataset," IMF Working Papers 12/231, International Monetary Fund.

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