Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

School of Business and Economics

Advisor 1

Gary A. Campbell

Committee Member 1

Emanuel Xavier-Oliveira

Committee Member 2

Hugh S. Gorman

Abstract

The objective of this research is to examine how Saudi Arabia can effectively deal with economic sustainability challenges arising from declining oil production. The methodology for the paper involved examining the background of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in regard to present production patterns, the role of the country’s oil industry in the economy and the significance of governmental efforts in attempting to remove Saudi Arabia’s excessive dependence on the oil sector. In recognizing that Saudi Arabia’s current circumstances clearly require the government to implement measures that allow the economy to become less dependent on oil, it was felt necessary to examine different models of diversification in other parts of the world. In particular, the model followed by Norway has been analyzed in great depth because it will serve Saudi exceptionally well in adopting the same to achieve its diversification objectives.

A case study was conducted on how Norway succeeded in its diversification programs and how it achieved a positive turnaround from dependence on the oil sector. The case study allowed making a comparison of the two countries’ strategies and further paved the way for Saudi Arabia to adopt diversification strategies based on Norway’s success in its different sectors. On the basis of evidence emerging from the analysis of Saudi Arabia’s demographics it became apparent that there is need to make efforts towards increasing government expenditures in order to strengthen human resources and to provide better healthcare, transport, municipal services and housing to citizens. In addition, the research concluded from an analysis of the Saudi Arabia’s demographics that provisions will have to be made for establishing larger numbers of institutions of higher education. Only then can the younger generation become technically and professionally skilled in taking over the job responsibilities presently held by expatriates.

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