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Public capital in resource rich economies: is there a curse?

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya
  • Paul Collier

Abstract

As poor countries deplete their natural resources, for increased consumption to be sustainable some of the revenues should be invested in other public assets. Further, since such countries typically have acute shortages of public capital, the finance from resource depletion is an opportunity for needed public investment. Using a new global panel dataset on public capital and resource rents covering the period 1970 to 2005 we find that, contrary to these expectations, resource rents significantly reduce the public capital stock. This is more direct evidence for a policy-based 'resource curse' than the conventional, indirect evidence from the relationships between resource endowments, growth and income. The adverse effect on public capital is mitigated by good institutions. We also find that rents from the depletion of non-renewable (mineral) resources reduce the public capital stock whereas rents from sustainable (forestry and agriculture) sources do not. Copyright 2014 Oxford University Press 2013 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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  • Sambit Bhattacharyya & Paul Collier, 2014. "Public capital in resource rich economies: is there a curse?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:66:y:2014:i:1:p:1-24
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gps073
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Resosudarmo, Budy P., 2015. "Growth, Growth Accelerations, and the Poor: Lessons from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 154-165.
    2. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Clark, Jeremy, 2017. "The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 123-134.
    3. Sambit Bhattacharyya & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2016. "Distributional Consequences of Commodity Price Shocks: Australia Over A Century," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(2), pages 223-244, June.
    4. 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..
    5. Frederick van der Ploeg & Anthony J. Venables, 2012. "Natural Resource Wealth: The Challenge of Managing a Windfall," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 315-337, July.
    6. Aktoty Aitzhanova & Shigeo Katsu & Johannes F. Linn & Vladislav Yezhov (ed.), 2014. "Kazakhstan 2050: Toward a Modern Society for All," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number kazakh2050, August.
    7. Nemera Mamo & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Alexander Moradi & Rabah Arezki, 2017. "Intensive and Extensive Margins of Mining and Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series 0517, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    8. Ilham Haouas & Raimundo Soto, 2012. "Has the UAE Escaped the Oil Curse?," Documentos de Trabajo 412, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    9. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Conradie, Louis & Arezki, Rabah, 2017. "Resource discovery and the politics of fiscal decentralization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 366-382.
    10. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2014. "Do Natural Resource Revenues Hinder Financial Development? The Role of Political Institutions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 101-113.
    11. Morten Endrikat, 2017. "Natural resource rents, autocracy and the composition of government spending," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201727, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Nouf Alsharif & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Maurizio Intartaglia, 2016. "Economic Diversification in Resource Rich Countries: Uncovering the State of Knowledge," Working Paper Series 9816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    13. Cockx, Lara & Francken, Nathalie, 2016. "Natural resources: A curse on education spending?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 394-408.
    14. Nemera Mamo & Sambit Bhattacharyya, 2018. "Natural Resources and Political Patronage in Africa: An Ethnicity Level Analysis," Working Paper Series 0418, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    15. Bhattacharyya, Sambit, 2013. "Political origins of financial structure," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 979-994.

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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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