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Contesting resources – rent seeking, conflict and the natural resource curse

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  • Katharina Wick

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  • Erwin Bulte

Abstract

A growing empirical literature links natural resource abundance and “pointiness” to impeded economic growth and civil strife. We develop rent seeking and conflict models that capture the most salient features of contests for resource rents, and show how both resource abundance and geographical clustering can be associated with intense contests and sub-optimal economic performance. However, we also show that these relationships are not necessarily monotonous – pointiness can trigger more intense contests but can also facilitate the coordination on peaceful outcomes. Finally we show that contesting resources through violent conflict may yield superior outcomes (from an economy-wide perspective) than contests through rent seeking. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Katharina Wick & Erwin Bulte, 2006. "Contesting resources – rent seeking, conflict and the natural resource curse," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 457-476, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:128:y:2006:i:3:p:457-476 DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-9010-z
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