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Should Developing Countries Establish Petroleum Funds?

Ragnar Torvik

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.4.rtor
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Abstract:
Many natural-resource-abundant countries have established petroleum funds as part of their strategy to manage their resource wealth. This paper examines reasons that such funds may be established, discusses how these funds are organized, and draws some policy lessons. The paper then develops a theory of how petroleum funds may affect the economic and political equilibrium of an economy, and how this depends on the initial institutions. A challenge with petroleum funds is that they may produce economic and political incentives that undermine their potential benefits. An alternative to establishing petroleum funds is to use revenues to invest domestically in sectors such as infrastructure, education, and health. Such investments have the potential to produce a better economic, as well as institutional, development. This is particularly the case if the initial institutions are weak.



Are Energy Endowed Countries Responsible for Conditional Convergence?

Matthew E. Oliver and Gregory B. Upton Jr.

Year: 2022
Volume: Volume 43
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.43.3.moli
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Abstract:
We test for economic convergence in GDP per capita and consumption per capita within two distinct sets of countries: those with significant (and plausibly exogenous) fossil fuel (FF) endowments and those without such endowments. Among countries with FF endowments, we find evidence of both absolute and conditional convergence across both macroeconomic dimensions, as indicated by standard β- and σ-convergence tests. By contrast, we do not find robust evidence of convergence among countries without FF endowments. This pattern—convergence among FF-endowed and non-convergence among non-endowed countries—is robust to changes in the sample period, controlling for potential resource curse effects, and is largely consistent across growth components. We discuss the implications for economic development and comment on its implications for global decarbonization policies.





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