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A Development Curse: Formal vs. Informal Activities in Resource-Dependent Economies

  • Elissaios Papyrakis
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    In most resource-driven developing economies, a mineral-based formal sector and an informal resource sector (such as charcoal production) constitute the main economic activities, from which local dwellers derive their livelihoods. The paper examines the coexistence of formal and informal resource sectors in resource-dependent economies, whose production depend on an exhaustible (e.g. minerals) and a renewable resource stock (e.g. forest) respectively. We examine the implications of declining mineral stocks on public revenues, labour movements between sectors, and economic growth in an attempt to elucidate the poor economic performance of most mineral-dependent countries. Decreasing mineral stocks induce a relocation of labour towards informal production, and deprive local authorities from public revenues collected within the formal economy. This constrains the ability to improve infrastructure and welfare over time and simultaneously imposes pressure on the local environment through deforestation.

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    Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c012_027.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c012_027
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    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
    2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. C. John McDermott & Paul Cashin & Alasdair Scott, 1999. "Booms and Slumps in World Commodity Prices," IMF Working Papers 99/155, International Monetary Fund.
    6. 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.
    7. Heal, G., 1990. "The Optimal Use Of Exhaustible Resources," Papers fb-_90-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
    8. Rodriguez, Francisco & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 1999. " Why Do Resource-Abundant Economies Grow More Slowly?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-303, September.
    9. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
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    11. Haney, Michael & Shkaratan, Maria, 2003. "Mine closure and its impact on the community : five years after mine closure in Romania, Russia and Ukraine," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3083, The World Bank.
    12. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
    13. Auty, Richard M., 1994. "Industrial policy reform in six large newly industrializing countries: The resource curse thesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 11-26, January.
    14. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Fundamental," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 184-88, May.
    15. Andrews-Speed, Philip & Ma, Guo & Shao, Bingjia & Liao, Chenglin, 2005. "Economic responses to the closure of small-scale coal mines in Chongqing, China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 39-54, March.
    16. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
    17. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
    18. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2007. "Resource abundance and economic growth in the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 1011-1039, May.
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