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Political Economy Models of the Resource Curse: Implications for Policy and Research


  • Ivar Kolstad
  • Arne Wiig


A number of studies suggest that natural resources can have a negative impact on the developing prospects of countries. This paper reviews political economy models of the resource curse, and draws implications of these models in terms of policy and research priorities. The term impartiality enhancing institutions is introduced to distinguish conditions under which negative effects of resources can be mitigated. The paper further examines current donor policies vis-à-vis resource rich countries, and argues that these policies only to a limited extent reflect the implications of the resource curse literature. Moreover, the paper suggests that the prevalent focus of resource curse studies on resource abundance rather than rents, and on net effects of resources, has put us on the wrong track. Finally, more work is needed to identify more precise policy implications in terms of required institutions and their reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivar Kolstad & Arne Wiig, 2008. "Political Economy Models of the Resource Curse: Implications for Policy and Research," CMI Working Papers 6, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2008-6

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    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. Katerin Hernández-Gamarra & Julio Sarmiento-Sabogal & Edgardo Cayon-Fallon, 2015. "A Test of the Market Efficiency of the Integrated Latin American Market (MILA) Index in Relation to Changes in the Price of Oil," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 5(2), pages 534-539.
    3. Sheraz, Umar, 2014. "Foresight as a tool for sustainable development in natural resources: The case of mineral extraction in Afghanistan," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 92-100.
    4. Aaron Yao Efui Ahali & Ishmael Ackah, 2015. "Are They Predisposed to the Resources Curse? Oil in Somalia," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 5(1), pages 231-245.


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