Oxford Commodity Windfalls Study

On average, resource rich countries have low savings and low investment in both physical and human capital. Measures of real savings, social development, and institutional quality are extremely low, along with great inequality. Historically, resources were important drivers of growth, and over the last quarter century a few resource rich economies have had sustained investment rates and reduced poverty. Revenue Watch is sponsoring research at Oxford University that seeks to help countries maximize the public benefits of natural resource wealth.

This project is part of RWI's growing emphasis on translating resource wealth into prosperity. The project will place special emphasis on engaging policy-makers early on to get a concrete sense of the current challenges they face in natural resource wealth management and expenditure, and working with leading academics and practitioners to develop creative and context-specific strategies for delivering a greater development "bang for their buck."

While natural resources can be important drivers of growth, over the last quarter-century few resource-rich economies have had sustained investment rates. Oxford University's study investigates why and how some countries were able to sustain growth. The resulting analysis and toolkit will help policymakers to properly harness resource wealth for improved development. The project pays particular attention to strategies for effective spending, and will develop case studies and an applied policy manual for maximizing the development impact of commodity windfalls through resource revenue management.