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Harnessing Windfall Revenues: Optimal Policies for Resource‐Rich Developing Economies

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  • Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Anthony J. Venables

Abstract

A windfall of natural resources (or aid) faces government with choices of how to manage public debt, investment and the distribution of funds for consumption. The permanent income hypothesis suggests a sustained increase in consumption supported, once resources are depleted, by interest on accumulated foreign assets. However, this strategy is not optimal for capital-scarce developing economies. Incremental consumption should be skewed towards present generations. Savings should be directed to accumulation of domestic private and public capital rather than foreign assets. Optimal policy depends on the impact of distortionary taxation and ability of consumers to borrow against future revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick van der Ploeg & Anthony J. Venables, 2011. "Harnessing Windfall Revenues: Optimal Policies for Resource‐Rich Developing Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 1-30, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:551:p:1-30
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02411.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mahbub Morshed, A. K. M. & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2004. "Sectoral adjustment costs and real exchange rate dynamics in a two-sector dependent economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 147-177, May.
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    5. Jan-Peter Olters & Daniel Leigh, 2006. "Natural-Resource Depletion, Habit Formation, and Sustainable Fiscal Policy; Lessons from Gabon," IMF Working Papers 06/193, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
    7. Jan-Peter Olters, 2007. "Old Curses, New Approaches? Fiscal Benchmarks for Oil-Producing Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 07/107, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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