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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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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Frederick van der Ploeg

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 capital, 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 Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 001.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:001

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Keywords: Resource Curse; Institutions; Trade Policies; Growth Performance; Income Per Capita;

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Cited by:
  1. Patricio Aroca & Miguel Atienza, 2010. "Economic Implications of Long Distance Commuting in the Chilean Mining Industry," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 03, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
  2. 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.
  3. Kamiar Mohaddes & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2013. "One Hundred Years of Oil Income and the Iranian Economy: A Curse or a Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4118, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2007. "Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Natural Resource Curse: Reconciling a Conundrum," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Thanh Le & Cuong Le Van, 2014. "Natural Resources, R&D and Economic Growth," Working Papers 2014-112, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  6. 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..
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Brückner, Markus, 2010. "Natural resource dependence, non-tradables, and economic growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 461-471, December.
  11. Jiří Sýkora, 2013. "Oil in Timor-Leste: A Ticket to Prosperity?," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(3), pages 68-85.
  12. Paul Collier & Rick Van Der Ploeg & Michael Spence & Anthony J Venables, 2010. "Managing Resource Revenues in Developing Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 84-118, April.
  13. Hostland, Douglas & Giugale, Marcelo M., 2013. "Africa's macroeconomic story," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6635, The World Bank.
  14. Leong, W. & Mohaddes, K., 2011. "Institutions and the Volatility Curse," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1145, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  15. Stela Cani, 2009. "Resource Abundance, Mineral Funds and Institutional Quality," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2009-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  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. Boschini, Anne & Pettersson, Jan & Roine, Jesper, 2013. "The Resource Curse and its Potential Reversal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 19-41.

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