IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The natural resource curse and economic transition


  • Alexeev, Michael
  • Conrad, Robert


Using cross-country regressions, we examine the relationship between “point-source” resource abundance and economic growth, quality of institutions, investment in human and physical capital, and social welfare (life expectancy and infant mortality) for all countries and for the economies in transition. Contrary to most literature, we find little evidence of a natural resource curse for all countries. Only the “voice and accountability” measure of institutional quality is negatively and significantly affected by oil wealth. In the economies in transition, there is some evidence that natural resource wealth is associated with lower primary school enrollment and life expectancy and higher infant mortality compared to other resource rich countries. Compared to other economies in transition, however, natural resource abundant transitional economies are not significantly worse off with respect to our indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexeev, Michael & Conrad, Robert, 2011. "The natural resource curse and economic transition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 445-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:445-461
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecosys.2010.10.003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. Christa N. Brunnschweiler, 2009. "Oil and Growth in Transition Countries," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/108, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    3. Brunnschweiler, Christa N. & Bulte, Erwin H., 2008. "The resource curse revisited and revised: A tale of paradoxes and red herrings," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 248-264, May.
    4. Thorvaldur Gylfason & Gylfi Zoega, 2006. "Natural Resources and Economic Growth: The Role of Investment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 1091-1115, August.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    6. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    7. Brunnschweiler, Christa N., 2008. "Cursing the Blessings? Natural Resource Abundance, Institutions, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-419, March.
    8. Michael Alexeev & Robert Conrad, 2009. "The Elusive Curse of Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 586-598, August.
    9. Hodler, Roland, 2006. "The curse of natural resources in fractionalized countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1367-1386, August.
    10. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Paniccia, Renato (ed.), 2000. "The Mortality Crisis in Transitional Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297413, June.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:645-668_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
    13. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2003. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: How Natural Resource Export Structures Affect the Political Economy of Economic Growth," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0308, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    16. Stijns, Jean-Philippe, 2006. "Natural resource abundance and human capital accumulation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1060-1083, June.
    17. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2004. "The resource curse hypothesis and its transmission channels," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-193, March.
    18. Tobias Kronenberg, 2004. "The curse of natural resources in the transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(3), pages 399-426, September.
    19. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Market reform and mortality in transition economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2013-2027, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Havranek, Tomas & Horvath, Roman & Zeynalov, Ayaz, 2016. "Natural Resources and Economic Growth: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 134-151.
    2. Alexeev, Michael & Chernyavskiy, Andrey, 2015. "Taxation of natural resources and economic growth in Russia's regions," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 317-338.
    3. Pomfret, Richard, 2012. "Resource management and transition in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 146-156.
    4. Michael Alexeev & Yao-Yu Chih, 2017. "Oil Price Shocks and Economic Growth in the Us," Caepr Working Papers 2017-011 Classification-Q, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    5. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan & Marcel Thum, 2017. "Oil Dependency and Quality of Education: New Empirical Evidence," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201745, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. repec:pal:compes:v:59:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41294-017-0028-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Roman Horváth & Ayaz Zeynalov, 2014. "The Natural Resource Curse in Post-Soviet Countries : The Role of Institutions and Trade Policies," Working Papers 341, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    8. Mouna Gammoudi & Mondher Cherif & Simplice Asongu, 2016. "FDI and Growth in the MENA countries: Are the GCC countries Different?," Working Papers 16/015, African Governance and Development Institute..
    9. Dauvin, Magali & Guerreiro, David, 2017. "The Paradox of Plenty: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 212-231.
    10. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:164-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Horváth, Roman & Zeynalov, Ayaz, 2016. "Natural resources, manufacturing and institutions in post-Soviet countries," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 141-148.
    12. Petar Stankov, 2010. "Deregulation, Economic Growth and Growth Acceleration," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp424, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    13. Bildirici, Melike Elif & Kayıkçı, Fazıl, 2013. "Effects of oil production on economic growth in Eurasian countries: Panel ARDL approach," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 156-161.
    14. Anca Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2010. "Resource Curse or Malthusian Trap? Evidence from Oil Discoveries and Extractions," Working Papers 201001, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
    15. Uzcátegui, Carolina & Solano, Javier & Figueroa, Paulina, 2016. "Perspectiva sobre la sostenibilidad de los recursos naturales a largo plazo: caso industria camaronera ecuatoriana
      [Perspective on the sustainability of natural resources in the long term: shrimp i
      ," MPRA Paper 73690, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Aug 2016.

    More about this item


    Economic transition; Resource curse; Institutional quality;

    JEL classification:

    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:445-461. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.