EIJS Working Papers Series
THE OIL RESOURCES OF TIMOR-LESTE: CURSE OR BLESSING?
() and Fredrik Sjöholm
Abstract: Timor-Leste is among the youngest nations in the world. It
started its independence under difficult circumstances: poverty is
widespread, education is poor, the industrial sector is non-existent, and
political turbulence is on the rise. On the positive side, future oil
revenues are predicted to be substantial, which could potentially be of
large help in Timor-Leste’s strive for development. This paper examines
critically the possibility for Timor-Leste to use oil revenues to achieve
economic development. It describes how difficult it is to estimate the
future revenues because of volatile prices, territorial disputes, and
insufficient seismological mapping. It continues with a discussion of the
“resource curse”: the difficulty of combining natural resources with
economic development. Moreover, the particular challenges for Timor Leste’s
development are dealt with at some length, as are possible ways to avoid
the resource curse.
Keywords: Timor-Leste; Oil; Resource Curse; Economic Development; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: L71; O13; O53; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, October 1, 2006
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- This paper is published as:
Lundahl, Mats and Fredrik Sjöholm, (2008), 'THE OIL RESOURCES OF TIMOR-LESTE: CURSE OR BLESSING?', The Pacific Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, pages 67-86
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