Prospects for Commodity Exporters: Hunky Dory or Humpty Dumpty?

14 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2009

See all articles by Paul Collier

Paul Collier

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government

Benedikt Goderis

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research|SCP

Date Written: June 15, 2007

Abstract

Those low-income countries that export non-agricultural commodities are in the midst of a resource transfer. It is undoubtedly the biggest opportunity for transformative development that these societies have experienced, dwarfing both aid and previous commodity booms. To get it in proportion, in 2004 commodity exports from Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 146 billion US dollars or 28 percent of the region’s GDP, while aid amounted to 5 percent of GDP. Compared with the boom of the 1970s many more countries are beneficiaries: the push to diversify sources of supply has resulted in exploitable discoveries in places that were previously political no-go areas. Further, whereas the boom of the 1970s was conjured up by the OPEC cartel, this one is grounded in Asian growth and so is intrinsically less precarious. In this paper we draw on a range of new research that provides a prognosis of prospects, a diagnostic of likely problems, and prescribes an agenda for international action. The paper is organized around these three objectives.

Keywords: commodity prices, natural resource curse, growth

JEL Classification: O13, O47, Q33

Suggested Citation

Collier, Paul and Goderis, Benedikt, Prospects for Commodity Exporters: Hunky Dory or Humpty Dumpty? (June 15, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1473729 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1473729

Paul Collier

University of Oxford - Blavatnik School of Government ( email )

10 Merton St
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4JJ
United Kingdom

Benedikt Goderis (Contact Author)

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research|SCP ( email )

Rijnstraat 50
The Hague, 2515
Netherlands

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