We review the literature on Dutch disease, and document that shocks that trigger foreign exchange inflows (such as natural resource booms, surges in foreign aid, remittances, or capital inflows) appreciate the real exchange rate, generate factor reallocation, and reduce manufacturing output and net exports. We also observe that real exchange rate misalignment due to overvaluation and higher volatility of the real exchange rate lower growth. Regarding the effect of undervaluation of the exchange rate on economic growth, the evidence is mixed and inconclusive. However, there is no evidence in the literature that Dutch disease reduces overall economic growth. Policy responses should aim at adequately managing the boom and the risks associated with it.
This paper investigates the impact of long-run terms-of-trade shocks. Analytically, we show that, if capital goods are largely importable or the labor supply is sufficiently elastic, then natural-resource booms increase aggregate investment and worsen the current account, but Dutch ‘Disease’ effects are weak. We then examine 18 oil-exporting developing countries during 1965-89. Favorable terms-of-trade shocks increase investment and (especially government) consumption, but reduce medium-term savings; hence, the current account deteriorates. Nontradable output increases, in response to real appreciations, but Dutch Disease effects are strikingly absent. Investment, consumption, and nontradable output respond more to a terms-of-trade decline than to an increase.
Mr. Christoph B. Rosenberg and Mr. Tapio Saavalainen
The petroleum-rich former Soviet republics around the Caspian Sea face the dual challenge of managing the transition to a market economy and a booming resource sector. This paper examines this challenge with particular reference to Azerbaijan. The standard “Dutch disease” model is modified to capture the special conditions of transition economies, with specific attention to the pattern of real exchange rate movement. “Transition factors” are found to add to the speed of real appreciation. Non-oil sectors may suffer, but less through the real appreciation than through transition-specific structural problems. The paper describes a medium-term policy strategy for Azerbaijan, relating its prospects to the experience in the 1970s of Ecuador, Indonesia, and Nigeria. The adverse effects of the Dutch disease may be avoided if Azerbaijan pursues policies to promote savings and open trade, and strengthens the supply side through structural policies.