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Cursed by Resources or Institutions?

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  • Halvor Mehlum
  • Karl Moene
  • Ragnar Torvik

Abstract

Natural resource‐abundant countries constitute both growth losers and growth winners, and the main difference between the success cases and the cases of failure lies in the quality of institutions. With grabber‐friendly institutions more natural resources push aggregate income down, while with producer‐friendly institutions more natural resources increase income. Such a theory finds strong support in data. A key question we also discuss is if resources in addition alter the quality of institutions. When that is the case, countries with bad institutions suffer a double resource curse – as the deterioration of institutions strengthens the negative effect of more natural resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Cursed by Resources or Institutions?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 1117-1131, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:29:y:2006:i:8:p:1117-1131
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2006.00808.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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