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Open Questions about the Link Between Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Sachs and Warner Revisited

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  • Daniel Lederman
  • William Maloney

Abstract

What makes the work of Sachs and Warner (1995a, 1997a, 1997b, 1999) distinct from previous pessimistic arguments about the growth potential of natural resources is their reliance on econometric analysis. Our aim is to take the authors’ model specification as given, but we ask the following three questions:1. Is the negative effect of natural resource exports (as a share of GDP) sensitive to the time period used in the analysis? 2. Is this result sensitive to unknown omitted variables? 3. Is this result sensitive to endogeneity problems that afflict the traditional cross-sectional growth regressions? The main findings are that the SW result concerning the alleged negative effect of natural resource exports on growth does not pass the test of time, the NRX effect is probably due to unaccounted countryspecific effects, and dealing with endogeneity issues does not recover the SW result. However, we find that export revenue concentration does have quite a robust negative effect on economic growth. And ab out 50% of this effect is due to the negative correlation between export concentration and intraindustry trade and a positive correlation between export concentration and volatility of the real effective exchange rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Lederman & William Maloney, 2002. "Open Questions about the Link Between Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Sachs and Warner Revisited," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 141, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    2. Malcolm Knight & Norman Loayza & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth: A Panel Data Approach," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 512-541, September.
    3. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    Cited by:

    1. William F. Maloney, 2002. "Missed Opportunities: Innovation and Resource-Based Growth in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 111-168, August.
    2. Tsani, Stella, 2013. "Natural resources, governance and institutional quality: The role of resource funds," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 181-195.
    3. Rodrigo Fuentes & Roberto Álvarez, 2006. "Paths of Development, Specialization, and Natural Resources Abundance," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 383, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Lay, Jann & Omar Mahmoud, Toman, 2004. "Bananas, oil, and development: examining the resource curse and its transmission channels by resource type," Kiel Working Papers 1218, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Herzer Dierk, 2005. "Exportdiversifizierung und Wirtschaftswachstum in Chile / Export Diversification and Economic Growth in Chile: Eine ökonometrische Analyse / An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(2), pages 163-180, April.
    6. Rabah Arezki & Frederik van der Ploeg, 2007. "Can the Natural Resource Curse Be Turned Into a Blessing? The Role of Trade Policies and Institutions," IMF Working Papers 07/55, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Bedassa Tadesse & Elias K. Shukralla, 2013. "The impact of foreign direct investment on horizontal export diversification: empirical evidence," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 141-159, January.

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