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Can the Natural Resource Curse Be Turned Into a Blessing? The Role of Trade Policies and Institutions

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  • Arezki, Rabah
  • van der Ploeg, Frederick

Abstract

We criticize existing empirical results on the detrimental effects of natural resource dependence on the rate of economic growth after controlling for institutional quality, openness, and initial income. These results do not survive once we use instrumental variables techniques to correct for the endogenous nature of the explanatory variables. Furthermore, they suffer from omitted variables bias as they overestimate the effect of initial income per capita and thus underestimate the speed of conditional convergence. Instead, we provide new evidence for the impact of natural resource dependence on income per capita in a systematic empirical cross-country framework. In addition to a significant negative direct impact of natural resources on income per capita, we find a significant indirect effect of natural resources on institutions. We allow for interaction effects and provide evidence that the natural resource curse is particularly severe for economic performance in countries with a low degree of trade openness. Adopting policies directed toward more trade openness may thus soften the impact of a resource curse. We also check the robustness of our results by using a variety of instruments and also employing the ratio of natural capital rather than natural resource exports to national income as an explanatory variable. We find evidence that resource abundance, measured by the stock of natural capital, also induces a resource curse, but less severely for countries that are relatively open.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6225.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6225

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Keywords: growth performance; income per capita; institutions; resource curse; trade policies;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi & Raimundo Soto, 2012. "Resource Rents, Political Institutions and Economic Growth," Documentos de Trabajo 413, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  2. Paul Collier & Frederick van der Ploeg & Michael Spence & Anthony J Venables, 2009. "Managing Resource Revenues in Developing Economies," OxCarre Working Papers 015, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Boschini, Anne & Pettersson, Jan & Roine, Jesper, 2013. "The Resource Curse and its Potential Reversal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 19-41.
  4. Naude, Wim & Rossouw, Riaan, 2008. "Export Diversification and Specialization in South Africa: Extent and Impact," Working Paper Series RP2008/93, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Aroca, Patricio & Atienza, Miguel, 2011. "Economic implications of long distance commuting in the Chilean mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 196-203, September.
  6. Stela Cani, 2009. "Resource Abundance, Mineral Funds and Institutional Quality," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2009-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  7. Thanh Le & Cuong Le Van, 2014. "Natural Resources, R&D and Economic Growth," Working Papers 2014-112, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  8. Go, Delfin S. & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen & Utz, Robert, 2013. "Dutch disease and spending strategies in a resource-rich low-income country -- the case of Niger," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6691, The World Bank.
  9. Leong, W. & Mohaddes, K., 2011. "Institutions and the Volatility Curse," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1145, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. Collier, Paul & Goderis, Benedikt, 2008. "Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Natural Resource Curse: Reconciling a Conundrum," MPRA Paper 17315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Brückner, Markus, 2010. "Natural resource dependence, non-tradables, and economic growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 461-471, December.
  12. Mohaddes, K. & Pesaran, M.H., 2013. "One Hundred Years of Oil Income and the Iranian Economy: A curse or a Blessing," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1302, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  13. Frances N Obafemi & Uchechi R Ogbuagu & Emmanuel Nathan, 2013. "Petroleum Resource, institutions and economic growth in Nigeria," Journal of Business & Management (COES&RJ-JBM), , vol. 1(3), pages 154-165, July.
  14. Hostland, Douglas & Giugale, Marcelo M., 2013. "Africa's macroeconomic story," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6635, The World Bank.
  15. Naude, Wim, 2008. "Conflict, Disasters, and No Jobs: Reasons for International Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series RP2008/85, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  16. Khalid R. Alkhater, 2012. "The Rentier Predatory State Hypothesis: An Empirical Explanation Of The Resource Curse," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 37(4), pages 29-60, December.
  17. Jiří Sýkora, 2013. "Oil in Timor-Leste: A Ticket to Prosperity?," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(3), pages 68-85.

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