IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey of Diagnoses and Some Prescriptions

  • Frankel, Jeffrey A.

    (Harvard University)

Countries with oil, mineral or other natural resource wealth, on average, have failed to show better economic performance than those without, often because of undesirable side effects. This is the phenomenon known as the Natural Resource Curse. This paper reviews the literature, classified according to six channels of causation that have been proposed. The possible channels are: (i) long-term trends in world prices, (ii) price volatility, (iii) permanent crowding out of manufacturing, (iv) autocratic/oligarchic institutions, (v) anarchic institutions, and (vi) cyclical Dutch Disease. With the exception of the first channel--the long-term trend in commodity prices does not appear to be downward--each of the other channels is an important part of the phenomenon. Skeptics have questioned the Natural Resource Curse, pointing to examples of commodity-exporting countries that have done well and arguing that resource exports and booms are not exogenous. The relevant policy question for a country with natural resources is how to make the best of them.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=8331&type=WPN
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp12-014.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-014
Contact details of provider: Postal:
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Fax: 617-496-2554
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Christa N Brunnschweiler & Erwin H Bulte, 2009. "Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: Resource abundance, dependence and the onset of civil wars," OxCarre Working Papers 018, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Joseph V. Balagtas & Matthew T. Holt, 2009. "The Commodity Terms of Trade, Unit Roots, and Nonlinear Alternatives: A Smooth Transition Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 87-105.
  4. Peter Wickham & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Commodity Prices; Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Working Papers 94/7, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
  6. Balagtas, Joseph Valdes & Holt, Matthew T., 2009. "AJAE Appendix: The Commodity Terms of Trade, Unit Roots, and Nonlinear Alternatives," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages -, February.
  7. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183, July.
    • 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, December.
  8. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-245, March.
  9. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," Working Papers 15, Center for Global Development.
  10. Frederick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2007. "Volatility, Financial Development and the Natural Resource Curse," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/36, European University Institute.
  11. Kazim Kazimov & Kirk Hamilton & Rabah Arezki, 2011. "Resource Windfalls, Macroeconomic Stability and Growth; The Role of Political Institutions," IMF Working Papers 11/142, International Monetary Fund.
  12. 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.
  13. Cuddington, John, 1989. "Commodity Export Booms in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 143-165, July.
  14. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2000. "Resources, Agriculture, and Economic Growth in Economies in Transition," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 545-579.
  15. repec:oxf:wpaper:wps/2007-15 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Jacks, David S. & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," CEPR Discussion Papers 7190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2011. "A Comparison of Product Price Targeting and Other Monetary Anchor Options for Commodity Exporters in Latin America," Scholarly Articles 9642641, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  18. Laura N. Beny & Lisa D. Cook, 2009. "Metals or Management? Explaining Africa's Recent Economic Growth Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 268-274, May.
  19. Blattman, Christopher & Hwang, Jason & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Winners and losers in the commodity lottery: The impact of terms of trade growth and volatility in the Periphery 1870-1939," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 156-179, January.
  20. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2003. "A Proposed Monetary Regime for Small Commodity Exporters: Peg the Export Price ('PEP')," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 61-88, Spring.
  21. Erling Røed Larsen, 2004. "Escaping the Resource Curse and the Dutch Disease? When and Why Norway Caught up with and Forged ahead of Its Neighbors," Discussion Papers 377, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  22. James A. Brander & M. Scott Taylor, 1997. "International Trade and Open-Access Renewable Resources: The Small Open Economy Case," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 526-552, August.
  23. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000465, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," NBER Working Papers 9804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Jeffrey Frankel, 2007. "On the Rand: Determinants of the South African Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 13050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Macartan Humphreys, 2005. "Natural Resources, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(4), pages 508-537, August.
  27. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2001. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Working Papers 8389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Mauricio Villafuerte & Rolando Ossowski & Theo Thomas & Paulo A Medas, 2008. "Managing the Oil Revenue Boom; The Role of Fiscal Institutions," IMF Occasional Papers 260, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
  30. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2008. "Testing the Neocon Agenda: Democracy in resource-rich societies," OxCarre Working Papers 013, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  31. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  32. Paulo A Medas & Daria V Zakharova, 2009. "A Primeron Fiscal Analysis in Oil-Producing Countries," IMF Working Papers 09/56, International Monetary Fund.
  33. Robert B. Barsky & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Gibson's Paradox and the Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 1680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  36. Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2010. "Resource Windfalls and Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Spreads; The Role of Political Institutions," IMF Working Papers 10/179, International Monetary Fund.
  37. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2004. "The resource curse hypothesis and its transmission channels," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 181-193, March.
  38. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-149.
  39. Edward Barbier, 2007. "Frontiers and sustainable economic development," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 271-295, May.
  40. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Edwin M. Truman, 2010. "Sovereign Wealth Funds: Threat or Salvation?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4983, January.
  42. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, 01.
  43. Arezki, Rabah & Ismail, Kareem, 2013. "Boom–bust cycle, asymmetrical fiscal response and the Dutch disease," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 256-267.
  44. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  45. Yael S. Hadass & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Terms of Trade Shocks and Economic Performance 1870-1940: Prebisch and Singer Revisited," NBER Working Papers 8188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Pindyck, Robert S., 1998. "The long-run evolution of energy prices," Working papers WP 4044-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  47. Kellard, Neil & Wohar, Mark E., 2006. "On the prevalence of trends in primary commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 146-167, February.
  48. Anne D. Boschini & Jan Pettersson & Jesper Roine, 2007. "Resource Curse or Not: A Question of Appropriability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(3), pages 593-617, 09.
  49. Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Commodity Windfalls, Democracy, and External Debt," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-03, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  50. William F. Maloney & Daniel Lederman, 2008. "In search of the Missing Resource Curse," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2008), pages 1-57, August.
  51. Gilbert, Christopher L., 1996. "International Commodity Agreements: An obituary notice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, January.
  52. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
  53. Y.Chen & K. Rogoff, 2003. "Commodity Currencies and Empirical Exchange Rate Puzzles," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 76, Netherlands Central Bank.
  54. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  55. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  56. Markus Bruckner & Rabah Arezki, 2010. "International Commodity Price Shocks, Democracy, and External Debt," IMF Working Papers 10/53, International Monetary Fund.
  57. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
  58. Mikesell, Raymond F, 1997. "Explaining the resource curse, with special reference to mineral-exporting countries," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 191-199, December.
  59. Edward B. Barbier, 2005. "Natural Resource-Based Economic Development in History," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(3), pages 103-152, July.
  60. Cuddington, John T & Urzua, Carlos M, 1989. "Trends and Cycles in the Net Barter Terms of Trade: A New Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 426-42, June.
  61. John T Cuddington & Daniel Jerrett, 2008. "Super Cycles in Real Metals Prices?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(4), pages 541-565, December.
  62. Roland Hodler, 2004. "The Curse of Natural Resources in Fractionalized Countries," Diskussionsschriften dp0404, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  63. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Hodler, Roland, 2010. "Natural resources, democracy and corruption," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 608-621, May.
  64. Cuddington, John T., 1992. "Long-run trends in 26 primary commodity prices : A disaggregated look at the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 207-227, October.
  65. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "A Mixed Blessing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 204-225, June.
  66. Noland Marcus, 2008. "Explaining Middle Eastern Political Authoritarianism I: The Level of Democracy," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, January.
  67. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela & Vegh, Carlos, 2004. "When it rains, it pours: Procyclical capital flows and macroeconomic policies," MPRA Paper 13883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  68. Carlos A Leite & Jens Weidmann, 1999. "Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 99/85, International Monetary Fund.
  69. Egil Matsen & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Optimal Dutch Disease," Working Paper Series 2703, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  70. 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.
  71. Chen, Yu-chin & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2003. "Commodity currencies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 133-160, May.
  72. Rabah Arezki & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2010. "Trade policies, institutions and the natural resource curse," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(15), pages 1443-1451.
  73. Davis, Graham A., 1995. "Learning to love the Dutch disease: Evidence from the mineral economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1765-1779, October.
  74. repec:idb:brikps:59538 is not listed on IDEAS
  75. Grilli, Enzo R & Yang, Maw Cheng, 1988. "Primary Commodity Prices, Manufactured Goods Prices, and the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries: What the Long Run Shows," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 1-47, January.
  76. Enrique G. Mendoza & P. Marcelo Oviedo, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Developing Countries: The Tale of the Tormented Insurer," NBER Working Papers 12586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  77. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  78. Michael Alexeev & Robert Conrad, 2009. "The Elusive Curse of Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 586-598, August.
  79. Alan Gelb and Stephanie Majerowicz, 2011. "Oil for Uganda – or Ugandans? Can Cash Transfers Prevent the Resource Curse? - Working Paper 261," Working Papers 261, Center for Global Development.
  80. Atsushi Iimi, 2006. "Did Botswana Escape from the Resource Curse?," IMF Working Papers 06/138, International Monetary Fund.
  81. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
  82. Auty, R. & Warhurst, A., 1993. "Sustainable development in mineral exporting economies," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 14-29, March.
  83. Corden, W M, 1984. "Booming Sector and Dutch Disease Economics: Survey and Consolidation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 359-380, November.
  84. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2005. "Peg the export price index: A proposed monetary regime for small countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 495-508, June.
  85. Catherine Norman, 2009. "Rule of Law and the Resource Curse: Abundance Versus Intensity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 183-207, June.
  86. Dasgupta,P. S. & Heal,G. M., 1985. "Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521297615, October.
  87. Noland Marcus, 2008. "Explaining Middle Eastern Political Authoritarianism II: Liberalizing Transitions," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 31-40, January.
  88. Reinhart, Carmen & Wickham, Peter, 1994. "Non-oil commodity prices: Cyclical weakness or secular decline?," MPRA Paper 13871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-014. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.