Managing Resource Revenues: lessons for low income countries

Nov 2008 | 12

Authors: Anthony Venables, Paul Collier

This paper explores the choices faced by developing country governments that have received substantial revenues from natural resources. The economic principles underlying the choices between consumption, domestic investment, and the accumulation of foreign assets are analysed. The priority should be to use revenues to promote growth and investment in the domestic economy and thereby put consumption on a rapid growth path, although absorptive capacity may constrain the scope for doing this in the short run. Foreign asset accumulation should be used primarily to smooth volatility, rather than to build up a long-term sovereign wealth fund. Trade-offs between private and public spending channels are examined from both an economic and political economy standpoint.

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