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Natural Capital and the Resource Curse

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  • Canuto, Otaviano

    () (World Bank)

  • Cavallari, Matheus

    () (World Bank)

Abstract

An abundance of natural resources is intuitively expected to be a blessing. Nonetheless, it has been argued for some decades that large endowments of natural resources—oil, gas, and minerals in particular—may actually become more of a curse, often leading to slow economic growth and redistributive struggles (including armed conflict). Over the years, vast empirical literature has addressed this “paradox.” The literature has had to rely on proxies for natural resource abundance because of the lack of appropriate data, generating doubt on whether results would be similar if direct measures of natural wealth were available. This gap is now starting to be filled with the data series released by the World Bank (1997, 2006, 2011) on natural capital and other forms of countries’ wealth. This note presents an analysis of these data to revisit some of the conclusions reached in the literature on the relationship between natural resource abundance and economic growth. The findings are in alignment with the view that there is no clear deterministic evidence of natural resource abundance as a curse or a blessing; therefore, the effect on a country depends on other determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Canuto, Otaviano & Cavallari, Matheus, 2012. "Natural Capital and the Resource Curse," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 83, pages 1-6, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:prmecp:ep83
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamilton, Kirk & Ley, Eduardo, 2010. "Measuring National Income and Growth in Resource-Rich, Income-Poor Countries," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 28, pages 1-7, August.
    2. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183.
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2007. "Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Natural Resource Curse: Reconciling a Conundrum," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
    6. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    7. Brahmbhatt, Milan & Canuto, Otaviano, 2010. "Natural Resources and Development Strategy after the Crisis," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 1, pages 1-7, February.
    8. repec:idb:brikps:59538 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Canuto, Otaviano, 1995. "Competition and endogenous technological change: an evolutionary model," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 49(1), January.
    10. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183, September.
      • Anthony J. Venables & William Maloney & Ari Kokko & Claudio Bravo Ortega & Daniel Lederman & Roberto Rigobón & José De Gregorio & Jesse Czelusta & Shamila A. Jayasuriya & Magnus Blomström & L. Colin X, 2007. "Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59538 edited by William Maloney & Daniel Lederman, February.
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