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Resource Rents, Political Institutions and Economic Growth

  • Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi
  • Raimundo Soto

    ()

    (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

This paper contributes to the empirical literature on oil and other point-source resource curse. We find that the curse does exist but conditional on bad political governance. Unlike previous studies we estimate a flexible econometric growth model that accounts for long-term country heterogeneity and cross-dependency and retains the virtues of the recent literature, including short-run flexibility, cointegration and error-correction mechanisms. We unpack political institutions into those reflecting the degree of inclusiveness (Polity) and credibility of intertemporal commitments (Political Check and Balances) and find that resource-rich countries with low levels on both scores are likely to experience the curse, while those with high enough levels may turn resource rents into a driver of growth. Countries with high scores on only one dimension may avoid the curse but are not likely to effectively use resource rents to promote growth. This suggests that for the oil-rich Arab world to achieve sustained growth, the Arab spring should not only bring democracy, as badly needed as it is, but should also lay the foundations for strong systems of political checks and balances.

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File URL: http://www.economia.puc.cl/docs/dt_413.pdf
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Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 413.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:413
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  2. Elbadawi, Ibrahim A. & Kaltani, Linda & Soto, Raimundo, 2012. "Aid, Real Exchange Rate Misalignment, and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 681-700.
  3. Johnson, Paul & Durlauf, Steven N & Temple, Johnathan R. W., 2004. "Growth Econometrics," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 61, Vassar College Department of Economics.
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  17. Rabah Arezki & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2008. "Can The Natural Resource Curse Be Turned Into A Blessing? The Role of Trade Policies and Institutions," OxCarre Working Papers 001, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  18. Xavier Debrun & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2007. "The Discipline-Enhancing Role of Fiscal Institutions; Theory and Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 07/171, International Monetary Fund.
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  20. Westerlund, Joakim & Edgerton, David, 2006. "Simple Tests for Cointegration in Dependent Panels with Structural Breaks," Working Papers 2006:13, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 28 Jan 2007.
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