IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Oil, Coffee and the Dynamic Commons Problems in Colombia

  • Mauricio Cardenas
  • Zeinab Partow

The dynamic commons problem arises when different groups in society engage in intense redistributive activity as a result of an export boom. This paper analyzes the role that institutions play in ameliorating that problem in the case of coffee and oil in Colombia. The paper presents a model that rationalizes the existence of a federation of coffee producers that effectively reduces inefficient redistribution to other sectors of society. According to the empirical evidence we find that domestic coffee prices have been unaffected by political factors, so that in practice appropriation of coffee rents does not depend on electoral and partisan cycles. The case of oil is substantially different. Here, rents are claimed by a large number of divided agents. According to the model, one feasible solution to the dynamic commons problem when the fiscal structure is not unitary is to impose a set of rules that restrict appropriations by different groups during windfalls. The major cost of this solution, embodied in the Oil Stabilization Fund, is the total loss of flexibility.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3033.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3033
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20577

Phone: 202-623-1000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Roberto Junguito, 1996. "The management of coffee bonanzas and crisis: political economy issues," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003610, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. Roberto Junguito B., 1996. "The Management Of Coffee: Bonanzas And Crisis: Political Economy Issues," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003611, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  3. Robert H. Bates, 1998. "Open-Economy Politics: The Political Economy of the World Coffee Trade," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6067, 01-2013.
  4. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Bevan, D L & Collier, P & Gunning, J W, 1987. "Consequences of a Commodity Boom in a Controlled Economy: Accumulation and Redistribution in Kenya 1975-83," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(3), pages 489-513, May.
  6. Lane, Philip R & Tornell, Aaron, 1996. "Power, Growth, and the Voracity Effect," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 213-41, June.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1995. "Saving behavior in low- and middle-income developing countries," MPRA Paper 13757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Cardenas, Mauricio, 1994. "Stabilization and redistribution of coffee revenues: A political economy model of commodity marketing boards," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 351-380, August.
  9. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
  10. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  11. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1995. "Saving Behavior in Low and Middle-Income Developing Countries; A Comparison," IMF Working Papers 95/3, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1986. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," NBER Working Papers 1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andes, 1992. "The Tragedy of the Commons and Economic Growth: Why Does Capital Flow from Poor to Rich Countries?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1208-31, December.
  14. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  15. Bevan, D L & Collier, P & Gunning, J W, 1989. "Fiscal Response to a Temporary Trade Shock: The Aftermath of the Kenyan Coffee Boom," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 3(3), pages 359-78, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3033. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Bazan)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.