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How to Sustain Growth in a Resource Based Economy?: The Main Concepts and their Application to the Russian Case

  • Rudiger Ahrend

In recent years economists have come to see rich natural resource endowments as a ?curse? or ?precious bane? that inevitably undermines development and slows economic growth. Resource-based development undeniably involves important risks. Nonetheless, the resource curse - if it exists - is at least no fatalité, as the examples of Australia, Canada and the Scandinavian countries demonstrate. This paper argues that the serious challenges posed by resource-dependence, which include an increased vulnerability to external shocks, the risk of ?Dutch disease?, and the risk of developing specific institutional pathologies, can be overcome, or at least very substantially mitigated, if accompanied by the right economic policies. It then analyses in detail what these ?right? economic policies are, and how to set up economic and political framework conditions to facilitate their successful implementation. The paper thereafter looks specifically at Russia as a prominent example of a resource-based economy. It investigates briefly the main drivers of Russian growth in recent years, and makes specific recommendations that would help the Russian economy to sustain high growth. Comment soutenir la croissance dans une économie fondée sur l'exploitation des ressources naturelles ? : Les principaux concepts et leur application au cas de la Russie Ces dernières années les économistes ont commencé à envisager la dotation en ressources naturelles comme une "malédiction" qui inévitablement mine le développement économique et freine la croissance. Le développement économique fondé sur l'exploitation des ressources naturelles comporte sans aucun doute des risques importants. Cependant, la malédiction des ressources -- si elle existe -- n'est pas toujours une fatalité, comme le montre les exemples de l'Australie, du Canada et des pays scandinaves. Cet article soutient que les défis sérieux posés par une forte dépendance envers les ressources naturelles - comme une vulnérabilité accrue aux chocs externes, le risque d'un "syndrome néerlandais" et le risque de développer des pathologies institutionnelles spécifiques - peuvent être maîtrisés, ou au moins très sensiblement amoindris, s'ils s'accompagnent de politiques économiques adéquates. L'article analyse en détail ces politiques économiques "adéquates", et comment mettre en place un cadre politique et économique qui facilite l'implémentation réussie de ces politiques. Le cas de la Russie est ensuite étudié comme un important exemple d'une économie fondée sur l'exploitation des ressources naturelles. L'article examine brièvement les principaux moteurs de la croissance de ces dernières années, et formule des propositions qui pourraient aider la Russie à maintenir une croissance forte.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 478.

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Date of creation: 09 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:478-en
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