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a plague o both your houses

The “Resource Curse” does not exist

Or so says this new paper on the subject called “The resource curse mirage: The blessing of resources and curse of empire?” and published by Ricardo Restrepo Echavarría, Carlos Vazquez and Karen Garzón Sherdekan. They go about de-bunking the idea that a country endowed with natural resource wealth is condemned to negative net effects on its economy (which is quite a hot topic for debate in economics’ circles, I’ll have you know).
You can click here to get your copy and to whet your appetite, here’s the abstract of the paper:
Auty (1993) and Sachs and Warner (1997) reignited the line of
argument of the resource curse: the idea that natural resource wealth
has negative net effects on the development of nations. However, the
result has been found to be highly dependent on the types of variables
used to represent natural resource wealth (Brunnschweiler, 2007) and
similar questions can raised about variables used to represent being
“cursed”. In this paper we pursue the hunt for better variables by
looking at the relationship between average income from natural
resources per person and a wide array of key development indicators:
Adjusted National Net Income, GDP per capita, an aggregate of services
and industrialized goods, inequality measured by the Gini index,
Poverty, the Human Development Index, the Prosperity Index, the Social
Progress Index and the Fragile State Index. We do this on a global scale
between 1970 and 2010. On the contrary, we find that natural resource
wealth is positively linked to development. We suggest, alternatively,
that much of the actual cases where abundant natural resources hurt
nations have been cases of common theft by tyrants, often backed by
imperial powers.

Read the whole paper here.

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