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Optimal Dutch disease

  • Matsen, Egil
  • Torvik, Ragnar

Growth models of the Dutch disease, such as those of Krugman (1987), Matsuyama (1992), Sachs and Warner (1995) and Gylfason et al. (1999), explain why resource abundance may reduce growth. However, the literature also raises a new question: if the use of resource wealth hurts productivity growth, how should such wealth be optimally managed? This question forms the topic of the present paper, in which we extend the growth literature on the Dutch disease from a positive to a normative setting. We show that the assumptions in the previous literature imply that the optimal share of national wealth consumed in each period needs to be adjusted down. However, some Dutch disease is always optimal. Thus lower growth in resource abundant countries may not be a problem in itself, but may be part of an optimal growth path. The optimal spending path of the resource wealth may be increasing or decreasing over time, and we discuss why this is the case.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 78 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 494-515

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:78:y:2005:i:2:p:494-515
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Jean-Philippe Stijns, 2001. "Natural Resource Abundance And Economic Growth Revisited," Development and Comp Systems 0103001, EconWPA.
  2. Olsson, Ola & Congdon, Heather, 2003. "Congo: The Prize of Predation," Working Papers in Economics 97, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 30 Oct 2003.
  3. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  5. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  7. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "A Mixed Blessing: Natural Resources and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2004. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_012, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "A Mixed Blessing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 204-225, June.
  10. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2000. "Natural Resources, Education, and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 2594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Politcal Foundations of the Resource Curse," DELTA Working Papers 2003-33, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1987. "The narrow moving band, the Dutch disease, and the competitive consequences of Mrs. Thatcher : Notes on trade in the presence of dynamic scale economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 41-55, October.
  13. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2004. "The resource curse hypothesis and its transmission channels," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-193, March.
  14. J. Peter Neary & Douglas D. Purvis, 1983. "Real Adjustment and Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rates and International Macroeconomics, pages 285-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  16. Richard Damania & Erwin Bulte, 2003. "Resources for Sale: Corruption, Democracy and the Natural Resource Curse," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2003-20, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  17. Corden, W M, 1984. "Booming Sector and Dutch Disease Economics: Survey and Consolidation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 359-80, November.
  18. van Wijnbergen, Sweder J G, 1984. "The 'Dutch Disease': A Disease after All?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 41-55, March.
  19. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-49.
  20. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  21. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3764006 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  23. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
  24. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  25. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
  26. 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 825-48, December.
  27. Lane, Philip R & Tornell, Aaron, 1996. " Power, Growth, and the Voracity Effect," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 213-41, June.
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