Financializing Development: Toward a Sympathetic Critique of Sovereign Development Funds

21 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014

See all articles by Adam D. Dixon

Adam D. Dixon

Maastricht University

Ashby Monk

Stanford University

Date Written: August 15, 2014


In this paper we unpack the scope and possibilities of sovereign development funds in different forms and under different political-cum-institutional conditions as a policy tool supporting economic growth and development, particularly in developing countries. Defining what that purpose should be and what is possible is complicated by a number of factors. The form of government of the sovereign sponsor and the significance of public legitimacy may help or hinder different types of investment mandates. Moreover, different investment mandates and their relative sophistication require organizational capabilities and expertise that are often not available locally or are insufficiently developed, such that the implementation of certain investment mandates is constrained and/or too costly. The purpose and the design possibilities of a sovereign development fund are, ultimately, contingent on local conditions, resources, and the essential developmental needs of the country and its population.

Keywords: Sovereign Development Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Resource Revenue Management, Development, Institutional Investors

JEL Classification: G29, O16, O23, Q32

Suggested Citation

Dixon, Adam D. and Monk, Ashby, Financializing Development: Toward a Sympathetic Critique of Sovereign Development Funds (August 15, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Adam D. Dixon (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, Limburg 6200MD

Ashby Monk

Stanford University ( email )

United States

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