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Natural resources, physical capital and institutions : evidence from Eurasia

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  • Vandycke, Nancy

Abstract

Natural resource abundance can lead to strong economic growth if resource rents are well invested in physical assets and other forms of productive capital. This paper focuses on the case of the resource-abundant economies in Eurasia, which has been less documented in the literature on natural resource-led development than other parts of the world. The analysis shows that the stock of productive physical assets is relatively low, contrary to common perceptions about the Soviet system. The infrastructure that was inherited from the Soviet system primarily serves to meet basic human needs; few assets support the development of competitive and sustainable economies. At a deeper level, the paper documents that low accumulation of physical capital over the past two decades has been driven by weak institutions and economic policies associated with the presence of resource rents, along with a poor public investment management process. This paper complements existing empirical studies by presenting evidence on the mechanisms through which natural resources and physical capital have interacted in setting Eurasian economies on a fragile development path.

Suggested Citation

  • Vandycke, Nancy, 2013. "Natural resources, physical capital and institutions : evidence from Eurasia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6586, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudio Bravo-Ortega & Jose De Gregorio, "undated". "The Relative Richness of the Poor? Natural Resources, Human Capital and Economic Growth," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 139, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Bornhorst, Fabian & Gupta, Sanjeev & Thornton, John, 2009. "Natural resource endowments and the domestic revenue effort," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 439-446, December.
    3. César Calderón & Enrique Moral‐Benito & Luis Servén, 2015. "Is infrastructure capital productive? A dynamic heterogeneous approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 177-198, March.
    4. Serkan Arslanalp & Fabian Bornhorst & Sanjeev Gupta & Elsa Sze, 2010. "Public Capital and Growth," IMF Working Papers 10/175, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Ricardo Hausmann & Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "An Alternative Interpretation of the 'Resource Curse': Theory and Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 9424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gupta, Sanjeev & Kangur, Alvar & Papageorgiou, Chris & Wane, Abdoul, 2014. "Efficiency-Adjusted Public Capital and Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 164-178.
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    Keywords

    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Economics; Investment and Investment Climate;

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