IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The resource curse: which institutions matter?


  • Ivar Kolstad


Two types of models are dominant in the current resource curse literature. One type of model studies the selection of entrepreneurs into rent-seeking versus productive activities. The other type analyses the use of patronage by politicians seeking re-election. The policy implications of the two models are quite different. The first model suggests that institutions governing the private sector ought to be improved. The second model suggests that institutions governing the public sector should be emphasized. This article empirically tests the impact of the private versus public sector institutions on the resource curse, using cross-country data from Sachs and Warner (1997a) and Polity IV. The main result is that only improved private sector institutions ameliorate the resource curse.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivar Kolstad, 2009. "The resource curse: which institutions matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 439-442.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:439-442 DOI: 10.1080/17446540802167339

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
    2. Jackman, R & Roper, S, 1987. "Structural Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(1), pages 9-36, February.
    3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    4. Richard Archambault & Mario Fortin, 2001. "The Beveridge curve and unemployment fluctuations in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 58-81, February.
    5. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Skill mismatch and unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 415-420, December.
    6. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, July.
    7. Bent Hansen, 1970. "Excess Demand, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23.
    8. Slaughter, Matthew J, 1998. "International Trade and Labour-Market Outcomes: Results, Questions, and Policy Options," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1452-1462, September.
    9. Andrés Fuentes, 2002. "On-the-Job Search and the Beveridge Curve," IMF Working Papers 02/37, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Hall, Alastair R, 1994. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series with Pretest Data-Based Model Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 461-470, October.
    11. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1997. "Shifts in the Beveridge Curve, job matching, and labor market dynamics," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-19.
    12. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
    13. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-816, May.
    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. Kolstad, Ivar & Søreide, Tina, 2009. "Corruption in natural resource management: Implications for policy makers," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 214-226, December.
    2. Blanco, Luisa & Grier, Robin, 2012. "Natural resource dependence and the accumulation of physical and human capital in Latin America," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 281-295.
    3. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2012. "Resource Wealth and Entrepreneurship: A Blessing or a Curse?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201224, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Libman, Alexander, 2013. "Natural resources and sub-national economic performance: Does sub-national democracy matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 82-99.
    5. Hartwell, Christopher A., 2016. "The institutional basis of efficiency in resource-rich countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 519-538.
    6. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne & Williams, Aled, 2009. "Mission improbable: Does petroleum-related aid address the resource curse?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 954-965, March.
    7. Francesco Caselli & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 208-238, January.
    8. Azarhoushang, Behzad & Rukavina, Marko, 2014. "Resource curse: A comparative study," IPE Working Papers 30/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    9. Malebogo Bakwena & Philip Bodman & Thanh Le & KK Tang, "undated". "Avoiding the Resource Curse: The Role of Institutions," MRG Discussion Paper Series 3209, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    10. Nguyen, Thi Tuong Anh & Doan, Quang Hung, 2016. "Chinese outward foreign direct investment: Is ASEAN a new destination?," MPRA Paper 71890, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Amos James Ibrahim-Shwilima, 2015. "Economic growth and nonrenewable resources: An empirical investigation," Working Papers 1416, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    12. repec:pje:journl:article15sumi is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Dauvin, Magali & Guerreiro, David, 2017. "The Paradox of Plenty: A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 212-231.
    14. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne, 2009. "It's the rents, stupid! The political economy of the resource curse," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5317-5325, December.
    15. Amos James Ibrahim-Shwilima, 2016. "Economic growth and nonrenewable resources: An empirical investigation," Asian Journal of Empirical Research, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(2), pages 26-41, February.
    16. Tim Wegenast, 2010. "Inclusive Institutions and the Onset of Internal Conflict in Resource-rich Countries," GIGA Working Paper Series 126, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    17. Parcero, Osiris J. & Papyrakis, Elissaios, 2016. "Income inequality and the oil resource curse," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 159-177.
    18. Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2014. "Can Oil-Rich Countries Encourage Entrepreneurship? ‘Yes’, ‘No’ but not ‘Perhaps’," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201406, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item


    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:taf:apeclt:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:439-442. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.