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Understanding the resource curse (or blessing) across national and regional scales: Theory, empirical challenges and an application

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  • Fleming, David A.
  • Measham, Thomas G.
  • Paredes, Dusan

Abstract

The relationship between resource extraction activity and economic growth has been widely studied in the literature, and the resource curse hypotheses emerged as a theory to explain the effects of resource windfalls on national economies. However, within countries, resource booms and busts can have distinctive effects across local economies, as extractive regions face particular economic consequences unlikely to be observed in nonresource regions. Empirically, most studies analysing the resource curse have relied on cross-country models to estimate effects and inform policy; however, the use of regional – within-country – analysis has gained attention from scholars lately, promoted by two advantages: it avoids unobserved country heterogeneities confounding economic outcomes caused by resources and exploits the subnational quasi-natural experimental conditions generated by endowments. This paper contributes to the resource curse literature by discussing its theoretical causes across scale (regional vs. national effects) and highlighting the empirical challenges involved in the analysis of mining economic impacts across regions. We complement the discussions by econometrically modelling economic growth across nonmetropolitan substate regions of Australia during a period of resource windfalls, finding that in most cases, resources have been a blessing for local economies, although negative effects have also been experienced in parts of the country.

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  • Fleming, David A. & Measham, Thomas G. & Paredes, Dusan, 2015. "Understanding the resource curse (or blessing) across national and regional scales: Theory, empirical challenges and an application," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 59(4), October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:283221
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.283221
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