Mechanisms of Resource Curse and Economic Policy
This paper compares various mechanisms of resource curse leading to a potentially inefficient use of resources; it is demonstrated that each of these mechanisms is associated with market imperfections and can be «corrected» with appropriate government policies. Empirical evidence seems to suggest that resource abundant countries have on average lower budget deficits and inflation, and higher foreign exchange reserves. Besides, lower domestic fuel prices that are typical for resource rich countries have a positive effect on long-term growth even though they are associated with losses resulting from higher energy consumption. On top of that resource abundance allows to reduce income inequalities. So, on the one hand, resource wealth turns out to be conducive to growth, especially in countries with strong institutions. However, on the other hand, resource abundance leads to corruption of institutions and to overvalued real exchange rates. On balance, there is no solid evidence that resource abundant countries grow more slowly than the others, but there is evidence that they grow more slowly than could have grown with the right policies and institutions.
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