From fiscal stabilization to economic diversification
A developmental approach to managing resource revenues
The management of revenues from exhaustible natural resources involves a number of challenges. In this paper, we argue that the standard policy advice to managers of resource revenues has been dominated by short-termism and the lack of a perspective on economic development and structural transformation. As a result, mainstream approaches have often addressed only the symptoms of commodity dependence (e.g. vulnerability to commodity price volatility) rather than its root causes (insufficiently diversified productive structures).
This paper starts by mapping out the various options for managing resource revenues, and reviews their respective economic and political implications. After discussing the limitations of existing theoretical approaches, we suggest an alternative resource revenue management model that is more suited to the context of commodity-dependent developing countries. This approach, which consists in the gradual scale-up of investments in productivity-enhancing assets, enables the alignment of the dual objectives of short-term stabilization and long-term diversification.