Resource-based Development

Developing countries, in particular the nations of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) are still significantly defined by resource dependency. Many countries remain highly dependent on resource extraction and exports, despite efforts to promote industrial development as well as the diversification of exports and production. A crucial factor is the high volatility of commodity prices making the macroeconomic management of resource-based economies difficult.

The discussion on a fairer distribution of resource revenues has intensified as a consequence of the commodity price boom of the 2000s, which has furthermore brought the issue of resource-based development strategies back on the agenda of development debates. In particular, the role of upgrading strategies within global value chains, industrial policy and linkages is the focus here. In addition, development opportunities are determined by the new role of China, which has led and continues to lead to major shifts in commodity and financial flows.

As part of the research project “Financial Markets and the Commodity Price Boom”, funded by the Austrian National Bank, ÖFSE analyses the macroeconomic implications as well as the effects of current commodity price dynamics on the development of resource-dependent low-income economies in SSA. A key issue was, which macroeconomic implications step from the high volatility of commodity prices. In a structuralist Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Model interactions of import-export dynamics and their differences in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Mozambique were demonstrated. In addition, the possibilities of resource-based development were analysed in the context of the global value chain approach. For this purpose, the global coffee value chain and its national effects in Ethiopia were examined, the cotton sectors in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania were compared and the importance of national regulations was shown. In addition, ÖFSE examined China's activities and policies in the extractive sector and analysed their impact on development prospects in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

For more information contact:

Dr. Bernhard Tröster
Senior Researcher
phone: +43 1 317 40 10 – 117
1090 Vienna, Sensengasse 3
more Information

Publications on the topic:

Briefing Paper 35

Von der Rohstoffinitiative zum Critical Raw Materials Act

Rohstoffstrategien der Europäischen Union

Karin Küblböck

Wien, July 2023

Der Übergang zu erneuerbaren Energien und die voranschreitende Digitalisierung haben eine er ...

Policy Note 38

Das Potenzial transdisziplinärer Forschung für eine Ressourcenwende am Beispiel des Dialogprozesses „zukunftsfähige Rohstoffpolitik“

Karin Küblböck

May 2021

Um das nötige Wissen für eine Ressourcenwende zu generieren und zu verbinden, sind – angesic ...

Briefing Paper 25

Commodity-dependent countries in the COVID-19 crisis

Bernhard Tröster

Wien, May 2020

Commodity markets have reacted to the COVID-19 crisis with drastic price movements and chang ...


Exporting out of China or out of Africa? Automation versus Relocation in the Global Clothing Industry

Discussion Paper 1/2020

Tilman Altenburg / Xiao Chen / Wilfried Lütkenhorst / Cornelia Staritz / Lindsay Whitfield

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) / DOI: 10.23661/dp1.2020, January 2020

The Discussion Paper examines the opportunities that the rising industrial wages in China wi ...

Briefing Paper 24

Going Global. Chinese natural resource policies and their impacts on Latin America

Karin Küblböck / Bernhard Tröster / Christoph Ambach

Wien, October 2019

China is today the second-largest economy after the US (UN ECLAC 2018a) and the world-leadin ...


Financialization and Global Commodity Chains: Distributional Implications for Cotton in Sub-Saharan Africa

Development and Change 0(0): 1–28.

Cornelia Staritz / Bernhard Tröster / Leonhard Plank

The Hague, March 2018 | DOI: 10.1111/dech.12401

Restructuring of global and local markets has led to an increased influence of commodity der ...

Policy Note 20

Commodity Price Stabilization – the need for a policy mix that breaks the vicious cycle of commodity dependence and price volatility

Bernhard Tröster

Wien, February 2018

The concept of the ‘resource curse’ has typically been used to explain the adverse effects o ...

Briefing Paper 16

Handlungsfähig? Zur Rolle von Handelspolitik für rohstoffbasierte Entwicklung

Karin Küblböck

Wien, December 2017

Zwei Drittel der Länder des globalen Südens sind von Rohstoffexporten abhängig. Diese generi ...


Fairness and Justice in Natural Resource Politics

Melanie Pichler / Cornelia Staritz / Karin Küblböck / Christina Plank / Werner Raza / Fernando Ruiz Peyré (Hrsg.)

December 2016 | ISBN: 978-1-138-19595-0 (hbk) | ISBN: 978-1-315-63805-8 (ebk)

As demand for natural resources increases due to the rise in world population and living sta ...


Global Value Chains, Industrial Policy, and Sustainable Development – Ethiopia’s Apparel Export Sector

Case Study / International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Cornelia Staritz / Leonhard Plank / Mike Morris

November 2016

The apparel sector has traditionally been a gateway to structural transformation, industrial ...


The Gender Dimensions of Global Value Chains

Issue Paper / International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Penny Bamber / Cornelia Staritz

September 2016

Policymakers are increasingly turning to global value chains (GVCs) as a means of driving de ...


Industrial upgrading and development in Lesotho’s apparel industry: global value chains, foreign direct investment, and market diversification

Oxford Development Studies Volume 45, 2017 - Issue 3

Mike Morris / Cornelia Staritz

September 2016

Many low-income countries are integrated into apparel global value chains through foreign di ...


Clothing Global Value Chains and Sub-Saharan Africa: Global Exports, Regional Dynamics and Industrial Development Outcomes

International Trade Working Paper 2016/16

Cornelia Staritz / Mike Morris / Leonhard Plank

May 2016 | ISSN 3413-3175

This paper assesses the export-oriented clothing industry in the five main sub-Saharan Afric ...


Social up- and downgrading trajectories of apparel workers in Romania: Europeanization, fast fashion and the global economic crisis

European Review of Labour and Research. 22(2)

Leonhard Plank / Cornelia Staritz

March 2016

Although the expansion of global production networks (GPNs) has been an important source of  ...


Regionalism, end markets and ownership matter: Shifting dynamics in the apparel export industry in Sub Saharan Africa

Mike Morris / Leonhard Plank / Cornelia Staritz

January 2016

This paper shows the importance of ownership, end markets and regionalism within the global  ...


Financialization and commodity prices – an empirical analysis for coffee, cotton, wheat and oil

International Review of Applied Economics Volume 30, 2016 - Issue 4

Stefan Ederer / Christine Heumesser / Cornelia Staritz

January 2016

Commodity prices have crucial implications for developing countries. The question whether th ...

Working Paper 56

Global commodity chains, financial markets, and local market structures – Price risks in the coffee sector in Ethiopia

Bernhard Tröster

Wien, December 2015

Ethiopia is known to be the origin of coffee, and still today coffee is of crucial importanc ...

Policy Note 16

Managing commodity price risks – the cases of cotton in Burkina Faso and Mozambique and coffee in Ethiopia

Cornelia Staritz / Bernhard Tröster / Karin Küblböck

Wien, October 2015

Price instability is a major concern for commodity producers in developing countries. Commod ...

Working Paper 55

Financialization, price risks, and global commodity chains: Distributional implications on cotton sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa

Cornelia Staritz / Susan Newman / Bernhard Tröster / Leonhard Plank

Wien, August 2015

The functioning of commodity markets has changed related to processes of financialization th ...

Working Paper 54

Cotton-based development in Sub-Saharan Africa? Global commodity chains, national market structure and development outcomes in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania

Cornelia Staritz / Bernhard Tröster

Wien, August 2015

Cotton is one of the most important cash crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and has had an im ...

Working Paper 52

Commodity dependence and price volatility in least developed countries: A structuralist computable general equilibrium model with applications to Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Mozambique

Rudi von Arnim / Bernhard Tröster / Cornelia Staritz / Werner Raza

Wien, June 2015

Many least developed countries (LDCs) face commodity dependence on the export and im-port si ...