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Natural resources and human development: Evidence from mineral-dependent African countries using exploratory graphical analysis

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  • Pérez, Claudia
  • Claveria, Oscar

Abstract

In this study, we propose a new approach for the visual inspection of interactions between human development and economic growth and a set of variables that reflect the dependence of mineral resources. We focus on the ten African countries with the highest share of mineral exports compared to total exports in the period from 2007 to 2016. First, we provide a descriptive analysis and we rank the countries according to their average annual growth in relation to a set of proxies of resource dependence and economic indicators during the sample period. Second, we cluster the different states by means of a dimensionality-reduction technique that enabled synthesising the information in the rankings into two factors: (a) economic growth and human development, and (b) growth in mineral resource dependence. Finally, we project all countries into a perceptual map and observe four clusters that roughly correspond to the main African regions, and whose distribution shows a slightly negative slope (indicative of a weak inverse relationship between mineral dependence and development). Regarding the interactions among variables, we observe a tenuous negative association between average growth in human development and the relative weight of mineral rents. These results, coupled with the fact that the average growth in resource rents does not materialise in higher economic growth, indicate that corruption may be impeding economic development, especially if it is understood under a more inclusive perspective that incorporates health and education. This finding underscores the need to promote institutional quality and to develop a mining strategy to help revert the effects of the resource curse in mineral-dependent African countries. Accordingly, we propose a series of policy measures based on four main objectives: competitiveness, transparency, sustainability and inclusiveness.

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  • Pérez, Claudia & Claveria, Oscar, 2020. "Natural resources and human development: Evidence from mineral-dependent African countries using exploratory graphical analysis," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:65:y:2020:i:c:s0301420719305860
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2019.101535
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource curse; Economic growth; Human development; Mining; Multivariate analysis; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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