Direct Distribution of Oil Revenues in Venezuela: A Viable Alternative?

38 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2013

See all articles by Pedro L. Rodriguez

Pedro L. Rodriguez

University of Chicago - Center for Social Program Evaluation

Jose Morales

Independent

Francisco Monaldi Marturet

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA)

Date Written: September 14, 2012

Abstract

Venezuela is a textbook example of a resource-dependent country — between 1950 and 2008, oil generated over a trillion dollars of income for the state. Nevertheless, Venezuela currently combines an economy that is stagnant, despite high oil prices, with an increasingly authoritarian government. The authors argue that large oil rents that accrue to the state, together with a lack of formal and transparent mechanisms to facilitate citizen oversight, are a large part of the problem. They consider the nature of the fiscal contract between the Venezuelan government and its people. This has been characterized by increasing discretion of the executive; only a small share of the rents is now subject to political oversight within the framework of the budgetary system. The authors consider the case for direct distribution of rents, distinguishing it from a populist approach to transfers as effected through Venezuela’s misiones. They also report on focus group discussions of the direct- distribution approach and the political viability of direct transfers.

Keywords: oil, natural resources, accountability, transfers, Venezuela, governance

JEL Classification: D73, N46, H0, H30, Q30, Q34, Q38

Suggested Citation

Rodriguez, Pedro L. and Morales, Jose and Monaldi Marturet, Francisco, Direct Distribution of Oil Revenues in Venezuela: A Viable Alternative? (September 14, 2012). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 306, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2226516 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2226516

Pedro L. Rodriguez (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Center for Social Program Evaluation ( email )

1155 E. 60th Street, Room 038
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Jose Morales

Independent ( email )

Francisco Monaldi Marturet

Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) ( email )

C/ Campo Santo de los Mártires, 7
San Bernardo 1010, Caracas, Córdoba 14004
Venezuela

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