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Oil rents, governance quality, and the allocation of talents in developing countries

  • Christian Ebeke

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Luc Désiré Omgba

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

Evidence shows that the allocation of talented people is not neutral for growth. Thus, a country with a large population of law concentrators tends to develop rent-seeking activities that reduce growth. A country with a large population of engineers tends to foster innovation and strengthen growth. But what determines the allocation of talents? This question has not yet been empirically examined. This paper contributes to fill this gap. Based on a sample of 69 developing countries the paper highlights that oil rents determine the allocation of talents but this effect is not linear. It largely depends on the quality of governance. While, oil rents in well governed countries tend to orient talents towards productive activities, oil rents in badly governed countries tend to orient talents towards rent-seeking activities. These results are robust to different specifications, datasets on governance quality and estimation methods.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00616587.

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Date of creation: 23 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00616587
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  1. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  3. Mehlum, Halvor & Moene, Karl-Ove & Torvik, Ragnar, 2003. "Institutions and the resource curse," Memorandum 29/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  4. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  5. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2000. "Natural Resources, Education, and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 2594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Mariani, Fabio, 2007. "Migration as an antidote to rent-seeking?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 609-630, November.
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