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The resource curse exorcised: Evidence from a panel of countries

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  • Smith, Brock

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of major natural resource discoveries since 1950 on GDP per capita. Using panel fixed-effects estimation and resource discoveries in countries that were not previously resource-rich as a plausibly exogenous source of variation, I find a positive effect on GDP per capita levels following resource exploitation that persists in the long term. Results vary significantly between OECD and non-OECD treatment countries, with effects concentrated within the non-OECD group. I further test GDP effects with synthetic control analysis on each individual treated country, yielding results consistent with the average effects found with the fixed-effects model.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Brock, 2015. "The resource curse exorcised: Evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 57-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:116:y:2015:i:c:p:57-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.04.001
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    Keywords

    Natural resource curse; GDP regressions; Synthetic controls; Oil discoveries;

    JEL classification:

    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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