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Exploiting Energy and Mineral Resources in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia

  • Richard Pomfret

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Recent literature has focussed on institutional degradation and revenue volatility as major sources of a resource curse. Formerly centrally planned countries may be especially vulnerable due to their mutating institutions and macropolicy inexperience. This paper examines these issues through case studies of six former Soviet republics and Mongolia. The principal focus is on the methods of involving foreign partners in exploration and exploitation of natural resources and, to a lesser extent, on the use of revenues during resource booms. The consequences of alternative resource ownership patterns are difficult to model due to path dependency and the significance of the conjuncture of circumstances. Kazakhstan in the 1990s was a prime example of rent-seeking institutional degradation, but an exceptionally positive conjuncture in the 2000s (soaring oil prices, large oil and gas discoveries, and new pipelines) triggered institutional and policy evolution. Uzbekistan, by contrast, had less resource-rent-driven institutional degradation in the 1990s, but stagnated in the 2000s. Turkmenistan and Mongolia highlight the missed opportunities from not involving foreign partners, while Azerbaijan and the Kyrgyz Republic illustrate the less predictable outcomes following quick deals with foreign investors. Institutions matter, but the case studies suggest more complex relationships than revealed by simple correlations between indicators of institutional quality or of ownership patterns.

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File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2010-16.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Adelaide, School of Economics in its series School of Economics Working Papers with number 2010-16.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2010-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Adelaide SA 5005
Phone: (618) 8303 5540
Web page: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/

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  1. Geir Asheim & Wolfgang Buchholz & Cees Withagen, 2003. "The Hartwick Rule: Myths and Facts," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(2), pages 129-150, June.
  2. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2004. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_012, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. Pomfret, Richard, 2004. "Resource Abundance, Governance And Economic Performance In Turkmenistan And Uzbekistan," Discussion Papers 18735, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  4. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
  6. Christa Brunnschweiler, 2009. "Oil and Growth in Transition Countries," OxCarre Working Papers 029, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Richard Pomfret, 2007. "Using Energy Resources to Diversify the Economy: Agricultural Price Distortions in Kazakhstan," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0355, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Alexander Chubrik & Mateusz Walewski, 2010. "Oil Money vs. Economic Crisis: The Case of Azerbaijan," CASE Network E-briefs 06, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  9. Marc Gronwald & Johannes Mayr & Sultan Orazbayev, 2009. "Estimating the effects of oil price shockson the Kazakh economy," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper Nr. 81, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  10. Kalyuzhnova, Yelena & Nygaard, Christian, 2008. "State governance evolution in resource-rich transition economies: An application to Russia and Kazakhstan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1829-1842, June.
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