IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How are Oil Revenues Redistributed in an Oil Economy? The Case of Kazakhstan


  • Boris Najman

    (CNRS-ROSES University of Paris I)

  • Richard Pomfret

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Gael Raballand

    (World Bank)

  • Patricia Sourdin

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)


The main value added of this paper is the empirical approach we use to assess the impact of the oil boom. The selected case study is Kazakhstan because an oil boom has driven Kazakhstan's economy since the discovery of large new oilfields in the late 1990's and early 2000's. We use household survey data from before and after the start of the oil boom to assess the extent to which the benefits from the oil boom were retained in the oil-producing regions, or spread evenly across the national economy, or were concentrated in metropolitan centres. Our assessment of the impact of oil boom confirms that oil revenues are not widely spread in the country, especially in rural regions (where oil is extracted). One of the two largest oil-producing regions remains, on average, the poorest region of the country. On the contrary, the two capitals of the country (Almaty, the former capital and financial centre, and Astana, the capital since 1997), home to the country's elite, have seen a major improvement of living conditions and revenues. Neither redistribution which oil companies undertake through social projects nor official redistribution through regional budgets seems to reach the poorest population in oilproducing regions, and it remains a major challenge for any government to redistribute evenly oil revenues in an oil economy. So far the main channel for redistribution has been unofficial, through the informal economy.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Najman & Richard Pomfret & Gael Raballand & Patricia Sourdin, 2005. "How are Oil Revenues Redistributed in an Oil Economy? The Case of Kazakhstan," School of Economics Working Papers 2005-18, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2005-18

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2005. "White elephants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 197-210, February.
    2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2013. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 570-615, August.
    3. Rama, Martin & Scott, Kinnon, 1999. "Labor Earnings in One-Company Towns: Theory and Evidence from Kazakhstan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 185-209, January.
    4. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
    5. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
    6. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2003. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: How Natural Resource Export Structures Affect the Political Economy of Economic Growth," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0308, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    7. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    8. Era Dabla-Norris & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & John Norregaard, 2000. "Making Decentralization Work: The Case of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0009, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    9. Wen, Mei & King, Stephen P., 2004. "Push or pull? The relationship between development, trade and primary resource endowment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 569-591, April.
    10. Richard Pomfret, 2003. "Trade and Exchange Rate Policies in Formerly Centrally Planned Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 585-612, April.
    11. Jovanovic, Branko, 2001. "Russian Roller Coaster: Expenditure Inequality and Instability in Russia, 1994-98," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(2), pages 251-271, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Richard Pomfret, 2003. "Economic Performance in Central Asia Since 1991: Macro and Micro Evidence1," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 45(4), pages 442-465, December.
    14. King, S.P. & Wen, M., 1998. "Push or Pull? The relationship Between Development, Trade and Resource Endowment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 653, The University of Melbourne.
    15. Era Dabla-Norris & Paul R Wade, 2002. "The Challenge of Fiscal Decentralization in Transition Countries," IMF Working Papers 02/103, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Tobias Kronenberg, 2004. "The curse of natural resources in the transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(3), pages 399-426, September.
    17. Yelena Kalyuzhnova & Michael Kaser, 2005. "Prudential Management of Hydrocarbon Revenues in Resource-Rich Economies," ECE Discussion Papers Series 2005_4, UNECE.
    18. International Monetary Fund, 2003. "Republic of Kazakhstan; Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix," IMF Staff Country Reports 03/211, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Korhonen, Iikka, 2004. "Does democracy cure a resource curse?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 18/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    20. Alberto Dalmazzo & Guido de Blasio, 2003. "Resources and Incentives to Reform," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(2), pages 1-5.
    21. Ehtisham Ahmad & Raju J Singh, 2003. "Political Economy of Oil-Revenue Sharing in a Developing Country; Illustrations from Nigeria," IMF Working Papers 03/16, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Anderson, Kathryn H. & Pomfret, Richard, 2002. "Relative Living Standards in New Market Economies: Evidence from Central Asian Household Surveys," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 683-708, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pomfret, Richard, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Kazakhstan," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48360, World Bank.
    2. Manuela Troschke & Horst Ufer, 2006. "Fiskalische Dezentralisierung und regionale Disparitäten in Kasachstan," Working Papers 262, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    3. Gerhard Toews, 2013. "Inflated Expectations and Natural Resource Booms: Evidence from Kazakhstan," OxCarre Working Papers 109, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2005-18. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eran Binenbaum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.