Natural Resources and Economic Growth: The Role of Investment

46 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2001

See all articles by Thorvaldur Gylfason

Thorvaldur Gylfason

University of Iceland - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Gylfi Zoega

University of Iceland; University of London - Birkbeck College; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2001

Abstract

Empirical evidence seems to indicate that economic growth since 1965 has varied inversely with natural resource abundance across countries. This paper proposes a linkage between abundant natural resources and economic growth, through saving and investment. When the share of output that accrues to the owners of natural resources rises, the demand for capital falls leading to lower real interest rates and less rapid growth. However, institutional reforms paving the way to a more efficient allocation of capital may enhance the quantity as well as the quality of new investment and sustain growth. Empirical evidence from 85 countries from 1965 to 1998 suggests that abundant natural capital may on average crowd out physical capital thereby inhibiting economic growth. The results also suggest that abundant natural resources may hurt saving and investment indirectly by slowing down the development of the financial system. However, high growth rates in a handful of formerly resource-dependent economies seem to indicate that economic and structural reforms can overcome any adverse effect of natural resources on economic growth.

Keywords: Economic growth, investment, natural resources

JEL Classification: O11

Suggested Citation

Gylfason, Thorvaldur and Zoega, Gylfi, Natural Resources and Economic Growth: The Role of Investment (March 2001). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 2743. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=267096

Thorvaldur Gylfason (Contact Author)

University of Iceland - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

IS-101 Reykjavik
Iceland
+354 525 4533/00 (Phone)
+354 552 6806 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hi.is/~gylfason/inenglish.htm)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Gylfi Zoega

University of Iceland ( email )

IS-101 Reykjavik
Iceland

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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