DP42 Resources-to-cash: a cautionary tale from Mongolia

Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 42

By Ying Yeung and Stephen Howes

September 2015

Recently, the direct distribution of natural resource wealth through cash transfers (“resources-to-cash”) has been recommended to help avoid the resource curse. Mongolia is perhaps the only developing country that has actually introduced a resources-to-cash scheme. While the scheme has showed mixed results, overall it has been a failure, losing political and public support because of design and implementation flaws. One should not dismiss the potential benefits of resources-to-cash on the basis of one, poorly designed and implemented instance. Rather the lesson of the Mongolia experience is that resources-to-cash needs to take its place alongside, rather than be favoured over, other policy instruments that have been put forward to avoid the resource curse.

Yeung, Y. & Howes, S. 2015, ‘Resources-to-cash: a cautionary tale from Mongolia’, Discussion Paper No. 42, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra.

Karen Downing

Karen Downing is Research Communications Coordinator at the Development Policy Centre.