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Commodity Price Volatility, Democracy and Economic Growth

Author

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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Thorvaldur Gylfason

Abstract

We use a new dataset on non-resource GDP to examine the impact of commodity price volatility on economic growth in a panel of up to 158 countries during the period 1970-2007. Our main finding is that commodity price volatility leads to a significant increase in non-resource GDP growth in democracies, but to no significant increase in autocracies. To explain this result, we show that increased commodity price volatility leads to a statistically significant and quantitatively large increase in net national saving in democracies. In autocracies, on the other hand, net national saving decreased significantly. Our results hold true when using indicators capturing the quality of economic institutions in lieu of indicators of political institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabah Arezki & Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility, Democracy and Economic Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 3619, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3619
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3619.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
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    5. Michael Alexeev & Robert Conrad, 2009. "The Elusive Curse of Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 586-598, August.
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    7. Philippe Aghion & George-Marios Angeletos & Abhijit Banerjee & Kalina Manova, 2005. "Volatility and Growth: Credit Constraints and Productivity-Enhancing Investment," NBER Working Papers 11349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    commodity prices; volatility; democracy; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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