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Are Rich Countries Immune to the Resource Curse? Evidence from Norway's Management of Its Oil Riches

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  • Erling Røed Larsen

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    (Statistics Norway)

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    Abstract

    Growth studies show, counter to intuition, that the discovery of a natural resource may be a curse rather than a blessing since resource-rich countries grow slower than others. But it has been suggested that Norway may be an important exception to the curse and that the curse does not afflict rich countries. This article addresses both issues, and introduces a new diagnostic test. Neighbor countries Denmark and Sweden are used to highlight Norway's relative development and to test for curse presence. I employ a structural break technique to demonstrate that Norway started an acceleration in the early 70s, after having discovered oil in 1969, and did not experience a pronounced retardation for the next 25 years. Instead, after first catching-up with its neighbors, Norway maintained a higher pace of growth. Norway might have escaped the curse. However, data suggest a slow-down at the end of the period, opening the possibility of a late onset of the curse. If so, rich countries are not immune.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 362.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:362

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    Related research

    Keywords: booming sector; catch-up; counterfactual development; economic parity; economic growth; gross domestic product; immunity; natural experiment; natural resource curse; oil discovery; structural break;

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    1. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
    2. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
    3. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
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    7. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Paldam, Martin, 1997. "Dutch disease and rent seeking: The Greenland model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 591-614, September.
    9. Bjornland, Hilde Christiane, 1998. "The Economic Effects of North Sea Oil on the Manufacturing Sector," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(5), pages 553-85, November.
    10. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
    11. Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "The New Econometrics of Structural Change: Dating Breaks in U.S. Labour Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 117-128, Fall.
    12. Brunstad, Rolf Jens & Dyrstad, Jan Morten, 1997. "Booming Sector and Wage Effects: An Empirical Analysis on Norwegian Data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 89-103, January.
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