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Do Natural Resources Depress Income Per Capita?

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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Frederick van der Ploeg

Abstract

Most evidence for the resource curse comes from cross-country growth regressions suffers from a bias originating from the high and ever-evolving volatility in commodity prices. This paper addresses these issues by providing new cross-country empirical evidence for the effect of resources in income per capita. Natural resource dependence (resource exports) has a significant negative effect on income per capita, especially in countries with bad rule of law or bad policies, but these results weaken substantially once we allow for endogeneity. However, the more exogenous measure of resource abundance (stock of natural capital) has a significant negative effect on income per capita even after controlling for geography, rule of law and de facto or de jure trade openness. Furthermore, this effect is more severe for countries that have little de jure trade openness. These results are robust to using alternative measures of institutional quality (expropriation and corruption instead of rule of law).
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  • Rabah Arezki & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Do Natural Resources Depress Income Per Capita?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 504-521, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:15:y:2011:i:3:p:504-521
    DOI: j.1467-9361.2011.00623.x
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    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
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    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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