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The politics of resource booms

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  • Ahmed S. Mahmud

    ()

  • Giacomo De Luca

    ()

  • Juan F. Vargas

    ()

Abstract

This paper develops a simple model to investigate how resource-driven economic booms shape the equilibrium political institutions of resource-rich societies and in uence the likelihood of experiencing civil war. In our model a strong government apparatus favors property rights protection but also makes the state more powerful and hence may induce predatory autocratic regimes over democracy. We characterize the parameter space of each political outcome in terms of the type of the available natural resources. Economic booms based on resources that are privately exploited empower the citizens and tend to ease democratic transitions. In contrast, booms based on resources exploited by the state tend to favor more dictatorial regimes. Finally, economic booms based on resources that can be exploited either by the state or by private citizens incite preemptive actions by both parties that may result in civil war. We discuss the predictions of the model using historical and contemporary examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed S. Mahmud & Giacomo De Luca & Juan F. Vargas, 2012. "The politics of resource booms," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 010082, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000092:010082
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    File URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/bitstream/handle/10336/10994/10082.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco Caselli & Andrea Tesei, 2016. "Resource Windfalls, Political Regimes, and Political Stability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 573-590, July.
    2. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
    3. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    4. Ross, Michael L., 2004. "How Do Natural Resources Influence Civil War? Evidence from Thirteen Cases," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 35-67, February.
    5. Oeindrila Dube & Juan F. Vargas, 2013. "Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1384-1421.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource Boom; Autocracy; Democracy; Civil War.;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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