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Natural resource dependence, human capital accumulation, and economic growth: A combined explanation for the resource curse and the resource blessing

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  • Shao, Shuai
  • Yang, Lili

Abstract

In existing studies, no consensus has been reached on the relationship between natural resource dependence and human capital accumulation. To narrow the divergence, this paper carries out a normative research to explain the co-existence of the phenomena of the resource curse and the resource blessing based on an organic combination of conceptual and mathematical models. It first establishes a conceptual model to analyse the potential effects of the government׳s policy preference and natural resource development activities on human capital accumulation and economic growth. Furthermore, it develops an endogenous growth model to normatively illuminate the effects in the conceptual model and to explore the condition for the occurrence of the resource curse. The conceptual model analysis indicates that the rate of return on education investment and government behaviours play the crucial role in promoting the formation of the economic virtuous circle at the micro-level and macro-level, respectively, while resource development activities exert dual impacts on the circle. The main mechanisms in the conceptual model can be validated in the mathematical model. The rise in the subjective discount rate, the elasticity of intertemporal substitution, and resource goods price are adverse to the economic virtuous circle, while high-quality education and the institutional environment giving priority to manufacturing can become the necessary condition and sufficient condition for forming the circle, respectively. The allocation efficiency of production factors plays a decisive role in whether the blessing occurs, whereas sufficient human capital is an essential guarantee for evading the curse.

Suggested Citation

  • Shao, Shuai & Yang, Lili, 2014. "Natural resource dependence, human capital accumulation, and economic growth: A combined explanation for the resource curse and the resource blessing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 632-642.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:74:y:2014:i:c:p:632-642
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.07.007
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