Breaking the Oil Spell

The Gulf Falcons' Path to Diversification

Place: Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington, DC

April 15, 2016

Imagine a future in which oil is no longer the main source of energy. Such a future is not necessarily cataclysmic for oil exporters if they succeed in diversifying their economies. To achieve this, however, they must change the prevailing economic model. In the past, countries such as Brazil, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore have made major strides in economic diversification, and this book distills lessons from their experiences to help guide the Gulf countries and other oil exporters today. Their stories reveal that incentives for firms and workers need to be realigned to develop technologically sophisticated export-oriented industries. More important, their stories show that standard growth policy prescriptions may not be enough and changing incentives for firms and workers is essential. Breaking the Oil Spell sheds light on what constitutes true economic diversification and the role of the state in achieving it.

About the editors

Reda Cherif is an Economist at the IMF, at the Institute for Capacity Development.
Fuad Hasanov is an Economist at the IMF and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Georgetown University.
Min Zhu assumed the position of Deputy Managing Director at the IMF on July 26, 2011. He previously served as a Special Advisor to the Managing Director of the IMF from May 3, 2010 to July 25, 2011.


Chair: Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF
H.E. Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Assistant Undersecretary, Ministry of Finance, UAE
Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia
J. Bradford DeLong, Professor, UC-Berkeley
Simon Johnson, Professor, MIT Sloan
Reda Cherif, Economist, IMF
Fuad Hasanov, Economist, IMF


Pictures from the Seminar