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The Volatility Curse: Revisiting the Paradox of Plenty

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  • Frederick Van der Ploeg
  • Steven Poelhekke

Abstract

The volatility of unanticipated output growth in income per capita is detrimental to long-run development, controlling for initial income per capita, population growth, human capital, investment, openness and natural resource dependence. This effect is significant and robust over a wide range of specifications. We unravel the effects of volatility by opening the black box and conditioning the variance of growth shocks on several country characteristics. Natural resource dependence, physical and institutional barriers to trade and associated policy shocks increase volatility sharply and harm growth through this indirect channel. The robust indirect effect of natural resources through volatility trumps any direct effects on economic development, even if natural resource dependence is measured net of extraction costs. Financial development appears to mitigate the harmful causes of volatility. Our panel data estimation confirms our cross-country results, but we also offer evidence that well developed financial systems amplify the effect of short-term terms-of-trade volatility on macroeconomic volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick Van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2009. "The Volatility Curse: Revisiting the Paradox of Plenty," CESifo Working Paper Series 2616, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2616
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcelo Martinez & Montfort Mlachila, 2013. "The Quality of the Recent High-Growth Episode in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 13/53, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Thorsten Beck & Steven Poelhekke, 2017. "Follow the money: Does the Financial Sector Intermediate Natural Resource Windfalls?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-027/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Kurronen, Sanna, 2015. "Financial sector in resource-dependent economies," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 208-229.
    4. Vittorio Daniele, 2011. "Natural Resources and the 'Quality' of Economic Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 545-573.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "Sudan - Toward Sustainable and Broad-Based Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3169, The World Bank.
    6. Balavac, Merima & Pugh, Geoff, 2016. "The link between trade openness, export diversification, institutions and output volatility in transition countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 273-287.
    7. Eisgruber, Lasse, 2013. "The resource curse: Analysis of the applicability to the large-scale export of electricity from renewable resources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 429-440.
    8. Stuart Landon and Constance Smith, 2015. "Rule-Based Resource Revenue Stabilization Funds: A Welfare Comparison," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    9. World Bank, 2009. "Sudan - The Road Toward Sustainable and Broad-Based Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3183, The World Bank.
    10. Kurronen, Sanna, 2012. "Financial sector in resource-dependent economies," BOFIT Discussion Papers 6/2012, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    volatility; growth; resource curse; financial development;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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