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Natural Resources and the 'Quality' of Economic Development

  • Vittorio Daniele

Are natural resources a 'blessing' or a 'curse' for human development? This article attempts to answer the question by distinguishing between a 'dependence' on natural resources and an 'abundance' of the same. Dependence is measured in terms of exports of metals and fuel, while resource abundance is calculated on the basis of the subsoil assets per square kilometre and per capita. Results show the existence of a negative correlation between metals and ore exports and human development, while subsoil assets measures are, rather, positively related. These effects are particularly significant in countries with a comparatively lower institutional quality. The cases of Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea, briefly examined, suggest, however, that the effects of natural resources on human and economic development can be very different, and strictly related to specific national political and institutional characteristics.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 545-573

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:4:p:545-573
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