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Oil Wealth and Non-oil Sector Performance in a Developing Country: Evidence from Cameroon

Listed author(s):
  • Luc Désiré Omgba

This paper provides the first econometric evidence on the impact of oil wealth on Cameroon's economy. In contrast to previous descriptive analyses, this paper reports that the oil boom had a positive effect on the traditional, non-oil sector in Cameroon and that the oil sector does not appear to have been responsible for the country's economic crisis or its consequences. In fact, oil wealth helped halt the decline in the non-oil sector that began before the oil boom. However, subsequent falls in oil production and oil prices were highly damaging to the economy. Consequently, the entire structure of Cameroon's economy, which is supported by growth in natural resources, comes into question, not management of the oil boom per se. This paper questions the timing of economic reforms in a resource-based country. It concludes that these reforms should be made during boom periods, when a country has enough resources to overcome the social problems that occur during structural reforms and when the country is in a position gradually to undertake such reforms.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 487-503

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:487-503
DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.620088
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