Nature's Blessing or Nature's Curse: The Political Economy of Transition in Resource-Based Economies

Akram Esanov, Martin Raiser and Willem Buiter, in Richard M Auty and Indra de Soysa, eds. Energy, Wealth and Governance in the Caucasus and Central Asia; Lessons not learned, Routledge, London and New York, 2006, pp. 39-56.

23 Pages Posted: 17 May 2002 Last revised: 24 Aug 2014

See all articles by Akram Esanov

Akram Esanov

Kansas State University

Martin Raiser

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Willem H. Buiter

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Columbia University; Independent Economic Adviser; Independent

Date Written: November 1, 2001

Abstract

The 15 newly independent states that emerged from the breakdown of the Soviet Union are now celebrating their 10th anniversary of independence. This paper looks back over the first decade and draws some lessons from the experience made to date. It focuses on the energy-rich states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (AKTU for short) and contrasts their development to that in the resource-poor countries at the CIS periphery. The main argument of the paper is that far from being a blessing that would have allowed resource-rich countries to cushion the impact of reforms and thus make faster progress, resource rents have often been wasted or appropriated by the ruling elites. Progress in key structural reforms has in some cases lagged even behind other CIS countries and significant policy challenges need to be addressed if natural resource wealth is not to turn into a curse for the region.

JEL Classification: O13, P26, P27

Suggested Citation

Esanov, Akram and Raiser, Martin and Buiter, Willem H., Nature's Blessing or Nature's Curse: The Political Economy of Transition in Resource-Based Economies (November 1, 2001). Akram Esanov, Martin Raiser and Willem Buiter, in Richard M Auty and Indra de Soysa, eds. Energy, Wealth and Governance in the Caucasus and Central Asia; Lessons not learned, Routledge, London and New York, 2006, pp. 39-56. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=311420

Akram Esanov (Contact Author)

Kansas State University ( email )

Manhattan, KS 66506
United States

Martin Raiser

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
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United Kingdom
+44 20 7338 7231 (Phone)
+44 20 7338 6110 (Fax)

Willem H. Buiter

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Columbia University ( email )

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United States

Independent Economic Adviser ( email )

Independent ( email )

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