Dataset: Natural resource booms and state social policy expenditure

A global dataset

Version 1.0, published: Jan. 28, 2024

Open Access

Heiko Pleines

Main category: Social Policy
Additional categories: Economic History And Economics
Andreas Heinrich, Heiko Pleines (2024): Dataset: Natural resource booms and state social policy expenditure, v. 1.0, Discuss Data, <doi:10.48320/B8FCBE5A-5A7E-490D-8FD6-1C9508EE3886>.


This dataset covers the link between natural resources booms and social policy expenditure for all countries of the Global South.

All countries with “total natural resources rents” (World Bank data) above 15% have been checked. Economic booms have been defined as “GDP growth (annual %)” (World Bank data) showing at least three years of consecutive economic growth amounting to a total of at least 20% in GDP growth. For each country, all consecutive years where the total natural resource rent stays above 15% and GDP is growing have been taken together as one natural resource boom phase.

For each natural resource boom phase state social policy expenditure has been taken from the World Bank database, the IMF and the Global State Revenues and Expenditures Dataset (GSRE). For 45 cases from 37 countries there are sufficient data for analysis. For 23 cases, data on social spending are not sufficient to establish a trend over the full boom period for at least one type of social policy expenditure.

For the 45 cases, we calculate the slope of the linear trendline for all types of social expenditure as share of GDP for which data are available. We sort all cases for which sufficient data are available into three groups: (1) social spending increases in line with GDP (i.e., average increase = flat trendline for spending as share of GDP, marked as “=” in the dataset), (2) state social spending gets a substantially higher share of GDP (operationalized as a trendline slope higher than +7%, marked as “+” in the dataset) or (3) the share of GDP devoted to social spending by the state decreases (slope of the trendline below -7%, marked as “–” in the dataset).

This dataset contains the full data collection in one Excel file (sheet 1 contains all original data for all countries, sheet 2 shows the trendline scopes for all case countries and sheet 3 lists all sources used by country). This dataset also contains a pdf file with a detailed description of data collection.


Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Other Russia Uzbekistan


Resource Curse Natural Resources State Social Policy Spending State Spending On Education State Spending On Healthcare Economic Boom

Language of data



Comparative Politics Economics Social Policy Studies

Methods of data collection

Descriptive Statistics

Methods of data analysis

Descriptive Statistics