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Resource Rents, Democracy and Corruption: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Author

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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Thorvaldur Gylfason

Abstract

We examine the effect of the interaction between resource rents and democracy on corruption for a panel of 29 Sub-Saharan countries during the period from 1985 to 2007. We find that higher resource rents lead to more corruption and that the effect is significantly stronger in less democratic countries. Surprisingly, we also find that higher resource rents lead to fewer internal conflicts and that less democratic countries face not a higher but a lower likelihood of conflicts following an increase in resource rents. We argue that these findings can be explained by the ability of the political elites in less democratic countries to more effectively quell the masses through redistribution of rents to the public. We support our argument by documenting that higher resource rents lead to more (less) government spending in less (more) democratic countries. Our findings suggest that the mechanisms through which resource rents affect corruption cannot be separated from political systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabah Arezki & Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2011. "Resource Rents, Democracy and Corruption: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," CESifo Working Paper Series 3575, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3575
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3575.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio & Wacziarg, Romain, 2003. "Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-194, June.
    2. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2010. "Natural resources, democracy and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 608-621, May.
    3. Hamilton, Kirk & Clemens, Michael, 1999. "Genuine Savings Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 333-356, May.
    4. Arezki, Rabah & Brückner, Markus, 2011. "Oil rents, corruption, and state stability: Evidence from panel data regressions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 955-963.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    7. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    8. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan, 2014. "Resource Rents, Power, and Political Stability," CESifo Working Paper Series 4727, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Clark, Jeremy, 2017. "The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 123-134.
    3. Douzounet Mallaye & Gaëlle Tatiana Timba & Urbain Thierry Yogo, 2015. "Oil Rent and Income Inequality in Developing Economies: Are They Friends or Foes?," Working Papers halshs-01100843, HAL.
    4. Yacine Belarbi & Lylia Sami & Said Souam, 2015. "Effects of Institutions and Natural Resources in a Multiple Growth Regime," Working Papers 905, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 2015.
    5. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "African Development: Beyond Income Convergence," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 82(3), pages 334-353, September.
    6. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2017. "More oil, less quality of education? New empirical evidence," CEPIE Working Papers 09/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    resource rents; corruption; political systems; internal conflicts;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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