Can Black Gold Shine? The Effect of Oil Prices on Nighttime Light in Brazil

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 19.01.2017, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University)


We explore the existence of a local “resource curse” related to Brazil’s oil reserves. To this end, we examine the effect of changes in international oil prices interacted with measures of oil access on nighttime light – a measure of economic activity – across the country’s localities. We detect no evidence of a resource curse: in fact, better access to oil enhances the positive effect of oil prices on economic activity. Our estimates indicate that a doubling of oil prices causes an average increase in luminosity of some 50 percent more in oil rich than in oil poor states; and 30 per-cent more, on average, in localities within 100 km distance to the nearest oil field relative to more remote localities.

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