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Commodity Windfalls, Polarization, and Net Foreign Assets: Panel Data Evidence on the Voracity Effect


  • Rabah Arezki
  • Markus Brückner


This paper examines the effects that windfalls from international commodity price booms have on net foreign assets in a panel of 145 countries during the period 1970-2007. The main finding is that windfalls from international commodity price booms lead to a significant increase in net foreign assets, but only in countries that are ethnically homogeneous. In highly ethnically polarized countries, net foreign assets significantly decreased. To explain this asymmetry, the paper shows that in ethnically polarized countries commodity windfalls lead to large increases in government consumption expenditures and political corruption. The paper's findings are consistent with theoretical models of the current account that have a built-in voracity effect.

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  • Rabah Arezki & Markus Brückner, 2011. "Commodity Windfalls, Polarization, and Net Foreign Assets: Panel Data Evidence on the Voracity Effect," CESifo Working Paper Series 3656, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3656

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tenryu, Yohei, 2013. "The Role of the Private Sector under Insecure Property Rights," MPRA Paper 74893, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Oct 2016.
    2. James Fenske & Igor Zurimendi, 2017. "Oil and ethnic inequality in Nigeria," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 397-420, December.
    3. Muñoz, Félix & Encinar, María Isabel & Otamendi, Francisco Javier, 2013. "The allocation of entrepreneurial effort and its implications on economic growth," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2013/06, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    4. Joël CARIOLLE, 2016. "The voracity and scarcity effects of export booms and busts on bribery," Working Papers P146, FERDI.
    5. Elissaios Papyrakis & Pak Hung Mo, 2014. "Fractionalization, Polarization, And Economic Growth: Identifying The Transmission Channels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1204-1218, July.
    6. repec:spr:inrvec:v:64:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12232-017-0271-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Elissaios Papyrakis, 2013. "Environmental Performance in Socially Fragmented Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 119-140, May.
    8. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2014. "Baltic Dry Index and the democratic window of opportunity," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 143-159.
    9. Parcero, Osiris J. & Papyrakis, Elissaios, 2016. "Income inequality and the oil resource curse," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 159-177.

    More about this item


    commodity windfalls; net foreign assets; polarization;

    JEL classification:

    • 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)
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


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