Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Understanding and Avoiding the Oil Curse in Resource-rich Arab Economies


  • Authors:
  • Ibrahim Elbadawi, Dubai Economic Council and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt
  • Hoda Selim, Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt
Ahmed Galal, Ibrahim Elbadawi, Hoda Selim, Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes, Mehdi Raissi, Linda Kaltani, Ndiamé Diop, Jaime de Melo, Omer Ali, Hend Al-Sheikh, S. Nuri Erbas, Raimundo Soto, Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, Paul Collier, Almukhtar Saif Al-Abri, Chahir Zaki, Ilham Haouas, Kabbashi M. Suliman
View all contributors
  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316506677

£ 27.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The first book about the oil curse to focus specifically on the Arab world
    • Offers a detailed examination of the region's political economy, providing the necessary context for understanding the curse
    • The authors use a unique combination of thematic issues, lessons from international experience, and country-specific contexts and experiences
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316506677
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.725kg
    • contains: 97 b/w illus. 70 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Ahmed Galal
    Acknowledgements Ibrahim Elbadawi and Hoda Selim
    1. Overview of context, issues and summary Ibrahim Elbadawi and Hoda Selim
    2. The global impact of the systemic economies and MENA business cycles Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi
    3. Real exchange rates and export performance in oil-dependent Arab economies Ibrahim Elbadawi and Linda Kaltani
    4. Dutch disease in the services sector - evidence from oil exporters in the Arab region Ndiamé Diop and Jaime de Melo
    5. The political economy of public sector employment in resource-dependent countries Omer Ali and Ibrahim Elbadawi
    6. The oil curse and labor markets - the case of Saudi Arabia Hend Al-Sheikh and S. Nuri Erbas
    7. Resource rents, political institutions and economic growth Ibrahim Elbadawi and Raimundo Soto
    8. Fiscal institutions in resource-rich economies - lessons from Chile and Norway Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
    9. Savings and investment decisions from natural resource revenues - implications for Arab development Paul Collier
    10. Labor market heterogeneity and optimal exchange rate regimes in resource-rich Arab countries Almukhtar Saif Al-Abri
    11. The institutional curse of natural resources in the Arab world Hoda Selim and Chahir Zaki
    12. Has the UAE escaped the oil curse? Raimundo Soto and Ilham Haouas
    13. Understanding and avoiding the oil curse in Sudan Kabbashi M. Suliman

  • Authors

    Ibrahim Elbadawi, Dubai Economic Council and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt
    Ibrahim Elbadawi is Director of the Macroeconomics Research Department, Dubai Economic Council and Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, DC. He has been the thematic leader for the Economic Research Forum (ERF) research work on 'Natural Resources and Economic Diversification in the Arab World' since 2010. Until February 2009 he was Lead Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank and he also served as Research Director of the African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi from 1993 to 1998. Elbadawi has published widely on several areas of macroeconomic and development policy. His regional specialization covers Africa and the Middle East, where he is widely networked with academic research and policy forums.

    Hoda Selim, Economic Research Forum (ERF), Egypt
    Hoda Selim is currently an economist at the Economic Research Forum (ERF), Cairo. Previously, she worked for five years at the World Bank's Cairo Office in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Monitoring department. For the past four years, she has been managing research projects and conducting research work under the theme of 'natural resources and economic diversification'. She has conducted research on macroeconomic issues in Egypt and the Arab region including economic development, economic growth, monetary and exchange rate issues.


    Ahmed Galal, Ibrahim Elbadawi, Hoda Selim, Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes, Mehdi Raissi, Linda Kaltani, Ndiamé Diop, Jaime de Melo, Omer Ali, Hend Al-Sheikh, S. Nuri Erbas, Raimundo Soto, Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, Paul Collier, Almukhtar Saif Al-Abri, Chahir Zaki, Ilham Haouas, Kabbashi M. Suliman

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.