Is there a Dutch disease in Botswana?
The Dutch disease is regularly evoked in the resource curse literature and remains a frequent explanation for the poor economic performance found in many resource-rich countries. Given Botswana's high rate of per capita GDP growth, it might seem superfluous at first glance to ask whether or not there is a Dutch disease in Botswana. Yet, Botswana merits study here both as a significant potential exception to any posited inevitability of the Dutch disease and also because the debate on whether or not Botswana has avoided the Dutch disease is far less settled than is indicated by its economic growth record. Botswana currently suffers from many of the symptoms of the Dutch disease but not for the causal reasons posited in the Dutch disease model. Indeed, many of the explanations for the lack of diversification found in Botswana's mineral-dependent economy have nothing to do with either diamond revenues or the Dutch disease. Botswana has done about as well managing its resource wealth as could realistically be expected but it is unlikely to succeed in diversifying its economy away from diamonds anytime soon.
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