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Open Questions about the Link Between Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Sachs and Warner Revisited

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  • Daniel Lederman
  • William Maloney

Abstract

What makes the work of Sachs and Warner (1995a, 1997a, 1997b, 1999) distinct from previous pessimistic arguments about the growth potential of natural resources is their reliance on econometric analysis. Our aim is to take the authors’ model specification as given, but we ask the following three questions:1. Is the negative effect of natural resource exports (as a share of GDP) sensitive to the time period used in the analysis? 2. Is this result sensitive to unknown omitted variables? 3. Is this result sensitive to endogeneity problems that afflict the traditional cross-sectional growth regressions? The main findings are that the SW result concerning the alleged negative effect of natural resource exports on growth does not pass the test of time, the NRX effect is probably due to unaccounted countryspecific effects, and dealing with endogeneity issues does not recover the SW result. However, we find that export revenue concentration does have quite a robust negative effect on economic growth. And ab out 50% of this effect is due to the negative correlation between export concentration and intraindustry trade and a positive correlation between export concentration and volatility of the real effective exchange rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 141.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:141

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  1. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  2. Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth: A Panel Data Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 512-541, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Tsani, Stella, 2013. "Natural resources, governance and institutional quality: The role of resource funds," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 181-195.
  2. Maloney, William F., 2002. "Missed opportunities - innovation and resource-based growth in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2935, The World Bank.
  3. Arezki, Rabah & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2007. "Can the Natural Resource Curse Be Turned Into a Blessing? The Role of Trade Policies and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dierk Herzer, 2005. "Exportdiversifizierung und Wirtschaftswachstum in Chile, Eine ökonometrische Analyse," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(2), pages 163-180, March.
  5. Rodrigo Fuentes & Roberto Álvarez, 2006. "Paths of Development, Specialization, and Natural Resources Abundance," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 383, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Rabah Arezki & Frederik van der Ploeg, 2007. "Can the Natural Resource Curse Be Turned Into a Blessing? T+L3479he Role of Trade Policies and Institutions," IMF Working Papers 07/55, International Monetary Fund.

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