Economia Politica

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 265–289 | Cite as

Finance, foreign (direct) investment and dutch disease: the case of Colombia

  • Alberto Botta
  • Antoine Godin
  • Marco Missaglia


In recent years Colombia has grown relatively rapidly, but it has been a biased growth. The energy sector (the locomotora minero-energetica, to use the rhetorical expression of President Juan Manuel Santos) grew much faster than the rest of the economy, while the manufacturing sector registered a negative rate of growth. These are classic symptoms of the well-known ‘Dutch disease’, but our purpose here is not to establish whether the Dutch disease exists or not, but rather to shed some light on the financial viability of several, simultaneous dynamics: (1) the existence of a traditional Dutch Disease being due to a large increase in mining exports and a significant exchange rate appreciation, (2) a massive increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly in the mining sector, (3) a rather passive monetary policy, aimed at increasing purchasing power via exchange rate appreciation, (4) more recently, a large distribution of dividends from Colombia to the rest of the world and the accumulation of mounting financial liabilities. The paper will show that these dynamics constitute a potential danger for the stability of the Colombian economy. Some policy recommendations are also discussed.


Colombia Dutch disease Balance of payments 

JEL Classification

F40 F21 F32 



We thank Diego Guevara, Miguel Uribe, Stephen Kinsella for their valuable comments. All errors remaining are ours. The authors gratefully acknowledge funding support of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Greenwich Political Economy Research Center, Department of International Business and Economics, Business SchoolUniversity of GreenwichLondonUK
  2. 2.Kingston UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Departamento de Desarrollo, Ambiente y TerritorioFLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales)QuitoEcuador

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