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The influence of OPEC membership on economic development: A transaction cost comparative approach

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  • Escobar, Octavio R.
  • Le Chaffotec, Alexandra

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of OPEC membership on economic development. Using the theory of transaction cost economics (TCE), we show that OPEC satisfies the characteristics of a hybrid organisation under TCE. Thus, membership in OPEC should improve economic development by reducing transaction costs. We suggest that this effect is stronger in less developed countries because of information asymmetries among regulatory authorities and firms. We also posit that membership in OPEC can alleviate the resource curse of its members by reducing the price volatility of oil and increasing bargaining power. We use a historical dataset of oil reserves that allows us to consider the period before the creation of OPEC in the analysis and find that the benefits of oil reserve endowment are higher for OPEC countries. However, these benefits decrease at higher levels of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Escobar, Octavio R. & Le Chaffotec, Alexandra, 2015. "The influence of OPEC membership on economic development: A transaction cost comparative approach," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 304-318.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:riibaf:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:304-318
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2014.04.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource curse; OPEC; Oil wealth; Economic growth; Transaction costs;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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