Natural Resources, Volatility, and Inclusive Growth: Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa

27 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2012

See all articles by Rabah Arezki

Rabah Arezki

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mustapha K. Nabli

World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2012


This paper takes stock of the economic performance of resource rich countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past forty years. While those countries have maintained high levels of income per capita, they have performed poorly when going beyond the assessment based on standard income level measures. Resource rich countries in MENA have experienced relatively low and non inclusive economic growth as well as high levels of macroeconomic volatility. Important improvements in health and education have taken place but the quality of the provision of public goods and services remains an important source of concerns. Looking forward we argue that the success of economic reforms in MENA rests on the ability of those countries to invest boldly in building inclusive institutions as well as high levels of human capacity in public administrations.

Keywords: Natural resources, Commodity prices, Economic growth, Emerging markets, Human capital, Infrastructure, Public investment, resource-rich countries, natural resource, resource-poor countries, natural resource curse, rent-seeking behavior, eiti, natural resource abundance, terms of trade, rent seeking activities, transparency and accountability, extractive industries, natural resource wealth, exhaustible resources, transparency initiative, state intervention, state interventions, common, extractive resources

JEL Classification: D74, D63, F32, Q33

Suggested Citation

Arezki, Rabah and Nabli, Mustapha K., Natural Resources, Volatility, and Inclusive Growth: Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa (May 2012). IMF Working Paper No. 12/111. Available at SSRN:

Rabah Arezki (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Mustapha K. Nabli

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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