At the beginning of the 1970s, the oil boom created conditions for remarkable economic growth for a small group of states that exported petroleum. The sudden growth of state wealth was a result of economic rent, which came from the export of petroleum rather than from the productive abilities of economy and citizens. Those events have contributed to the growth of interest in the concept of 'rentier states'. Accordingly, there is a problem of the economy defined the 'rentier economy' as an economy which, to a large degree, relies on the state's expenses, whereas the state itself depends on foreign rent. Putting it in more general terms, it is an economy in which rent has a dominant role. In consequence, the rentier state is a sub-system connected with the rentier economy. The author has made an attempt to systematize the characteristics of rentier-economy Arab countries. Characteristic features of rentier states are divided into three categories, which reflect three dimensions of the state's functioning: economic features, social features and political features. The analysis of those three groups of elements which create the rentier economy takes into account external factors, such as the globalization process, which significantly influences development and the economic situation in Arab countries.
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