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Resource Rents, Political Institutions and Economic Growth

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  • Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi
  • Raimundo Soto

    ()
    (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the empirical literature on oil and other point-source resource curse. We find that the curse does exist but conditional on bad political governance. Unlike previous studies we estimate a flexible econometric growth model that accounts for long-term country heterogeneity and cross-dependency and retains the virtues of the recent literature, including short-run flexibility, cointegration and error-correction mechanisms. We unpack political institutions into those reflecting the degree of inclusiveness (Polity) and credibility of intertemporal commitments (Political Check and Balances) and find that resource-rich countries with low levels on both scores are likely to experience the curse, while those with high enough levels may turn resource rents into a driver of growth. Countries with high scores on only one dimension may avoid the curse but are not likely to effectively use resource rents to promote growth. This suggests that for the oil-rich Arab world to achieve sustained growth, the Arab spring should not only bring democracy, as badly needed as it is, but should also lay the foundations for strong systems of political checks and balances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 413.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:413

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Keywords: Oil and natural resource curse; economic growth; democracy; political checks and balances;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Battaile, Bill & Chisik, Richard & Onder, Harun, 2014. "Services, inequality, and the dutch disease," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6966, The World Bank.
  2. Ilham Haouas & Raimundo Soto, 2012. "Has the UAE Escaped the Oil Curse?," Documentos de Trabajo 412, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  3. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2012. "Fiscal Institutions in Resource-Rich Economies: Lessons from Chile and Norway," Documentos de Trabajo 416, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..

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