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Understanding and Avoiding the Oil Curse in Resource-rich Arab Economies
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  • Cited by 3
  • Ibrahim Elbadawi, Dubai Economic Council and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt, Hoda Selim, Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt
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Book description

For over eighty years the Arab region has derived massive wealth from its natural resources, yet the region's economies remain little diversified, while the oil market is experiencing major structural shifts with the advent of shale gas. Moreover, the resource itself is eventually exhaustible. Under these conditions economic prosperity cannot be sustainable. The critical question is how can the countries of this region escape the 'oil curse'? In this volume, leading economists argue that the curse is not a predestined outcome but a result of weak institutions and bad governance. A variety of analytical perspectives and examination of various international case studies leads to the conclusion that natural resources can only spur economic development when combined with sound political institutions and effective economic governance. This volume, with its unique focus on the Arab region, will be an important reference for researchers and policymakers alike.


‘Expert scholars perceptively examine the issues posed by the double-edged sword of oil wealth. They take full account of differences among the Arab countries between those with high population and those with high wealth.'

Jeffrey Frankel - Harvard University, Massachusetts

‘The importance and significance of natural resource wealth to the economic performance and development of the many resource-rich Arab countries has been matched only by the severe paucity of serious economic research on the subject. This book fills such a gap and has been long overdue. Using solid research methodologies it investigates the economic, institutional and political economy dimensions of their varied development experience, and explores the policy implications for the use and management of the resource wealth.'

Mustapha Kamel Nabli - former Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia

‘This is a profoundly important, state-of-the-art analysis of the challenges created by oil wealth in the Arab Middle East. It will be required reading for both policymakers and citizens seeking a better path forward.'

Michael L. Ross - University of California, Los Angeles

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