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The Quality of Political Institutions and the Curse of Natural Resources

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  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Esther Hauk

Abstract

We propose a theoretical model to explain empirical regularities related to the curse of natural resources, which emphasises the behaviour and incentives of politicians. We extend the standard voting model to give voters political control beyond the elections. This gives rise to a new restriction that policies should not give rise to a revolution. Our model clarifies when resource discoveries might lead to revolutions, namely, in countries with weak institutions. It also suggests that for bad political institutions human capital depends negatively on natural resources, while for high institutional quality the dependence is reversed. This finding is corroborated in cross-section regressions.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Cabrales & Esther Hauk, 2011. "The Quality of Political Institutions and the Curse of Natural Resources," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 58-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:551:p:58-88
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02390.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Caselli & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Resource Windfalls, Political Regimes, and Political Stability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 573-590, July.
    2. Rabah Arezki & Klaus Deininger & Harris Selod, 2015. "What Drives the Global "Land Rush"?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 207-233.
    3. Eoin McGuirk, 2013. "The illusory leader: natural resources, taxation and accountability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 285-313, March.
    4. Blanco, Luisa & Grier, Robin, 2012. "Natural resource dependence and the accumulation of physical and human capital in Latin America," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 281-295.
    5. Tim Willems & Shaun Larcom & Mare Sarr, 2014. "Dictators Walking the Mogadishu Line: How Men Become Monsters and Monsters Become Men," Economics Series Working Papers 701, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Niels Johannesen & David Dreyer Lassen & Elena Paltseva, 2013. "Petro Rents, Political Institutions, and Hidden Wealth: Evidence from Bank Deposits in Tax Havens," EPRU Working Paper Series 2013-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2016. "Election cycles in natural resource rents: Empirical evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 79-93.
    8. Libman, Alexander, 2013. "Natural resources and sub-national economic performance: Does sub-national democracy matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 82-99.
    9. Nolazco Cama, Jose Luis & Bravo-Ortega, Claudio, 2015. "Instituciones, Recursos Naturales Y Sus Efectos En El Crecimiento Economico: Un Sistema De Ecuaciones Simultáneas En Panel De Datos
      [Institutions, Natural Resources And Its Impact On Economic Growt
      ," MPRA Paper 74421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Cockx, Lara & Francken, Nathalie, 2016. "Natural resources: A curse on education spending?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 394-408.
    11. Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Ouverture, conflits et capacité étatique : une perspective d’économie politique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 415-449, décembre.
    12. Diana Patricia Niño Muñoz, 2015. "Calidad de vida y el desarrollo institucional de los municipios petroleros de Colombia (2000-2010)," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 17(33), pages 203-230, July-Dece.
    13. Gerhard Toews & Alexander Libman, 2017. "Getting Incentives Right: Human Capital Investment and Natural Resource Booms," Working Papers 370, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    14. Ackah-Baidoo, Abigail, 2012. "Enclave development and ‘offshore corporate social responsibility’: Implications for oil-rich sub-Saharan Africa," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 152-159.
    15. Banegas Rivero, Roger Alejandro & González Vergara, Reyna, 2015. "Cambios institucionales y transición cíclica en la posición fiscal para Bolivia (2003-2011)," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, issue 23, pages 67-96, Mayo.

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