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State-building in resource-rich economies

Jensen, Anders Ditlev (2011) State-building in resource-rich economies. Atlantic Economic Journal, 39 (2). pp. 171-193. ISSN 0197-4254

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11293-011-9269-z


One of the most significant differences between developing countries and today's advanced states is the fact that many developing countries rely heavily on one or several natural resources. That such dependence shapes the state's ability to tax-its fiscal capacity-is commonly argued in the political science and applied development literatures. This paper approaches the issue from an economic angle. Our analytical foundation builds upon a novel theoretical framework, and allows us to model fiscal capacity as an ex ante investment under uncertainty. For our panel of 30 hydrocarbon-rich economies, instrumental-variables results provide strong empirical support for our theoretical proposition: resource intensification weakens state-building by impeding the state's fiscal capacity. This result provides an inaugural validation of the economic analytics of state-capacity determinants: understanding these determinants serves to build stronger states and support sustainable paths of development. Our result also suggests that one of the main tools of fiscal policy-analysis in resource-rich economies, namely optimal taxation, could gain in practical relevance by incorporating capacity-constraints into the analytical fiscal-framework.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 International Atlantic Economic Society
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H71 - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q28 - Government Policy
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q3 - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation > Q32 - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2011 10:19
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 01:43

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