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Diminishing commodity prices and capital flight in a dutch disease and resource curse environment: The case of Bolivia

Baja Daza, Gover and Fernández Tellería, Bernardo X. and Zavaleta Castellón, David (2014): Diminishing commodity prices and capital flight in a dutch disease and resource curse environment: The case of Bolivia.

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Diminishing commodity prices and increasing world interest rates are the two main expected outcomes from slowdown of emerging economies and growth recovery of advanced economies in the post financial crisis. A CGE model is used to analyze commodity shocks in a natural resource country framework with two export oriented resource sectors (gas & oil and minerals) and mainly two emerging tradable sectors (food and manufacturing) with dominant import substitution orientation. Positive shocks of unusual magnitude in the pre-crisis generate strong Dutch disease (DD) effects but also unusual levels of government income, savings and investment, giving rise to a growth opportunity. A negative shock to the mineral sector in the post-crisis does not reverse the growth opportunity as long as the gas & oil sector remains strong. However, policy would be required to help absorb the labor released and in the long-run structural reforms are needed to significantly diminish built-in DD effects in this sector. If in addition a significant negative shock hits the gas & oil sector, the economy can experience negative growth. Having a stabilization fund would help in this scenario, but to avoid it altogether sector policy is more important. Additionally, a DSGE model with tradable/non-tradable sectors and skilled/unskilled savers/not savers workers is calibrated to analyze the conditions under which capital flight might occur under increasing world interest rates in the post-crisis. These conditions require a significant degree of macroeconomic deterioration which is not being observed, but point to some key variables to follow, such as the level of net external assets held by the country.

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