IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Resource Curse Revisited and Revised: A Tale of Paradoxes and Red Herrings

We critically evaluate the empirical basis for the so-called resource curse and find that, despite the topic’s popularity in economics and political science research, this apparent paradox is a red herring. The most commonly used measure of ‘resource abundance’ can be more usefully interpreted as a proxy for ‘resource dependence’—endogenous to underlying institutional factors. In multiple estimations that combine resource abundance and dependence, institutional and constitutional variables, we find that (i) resource abundance, constitutions and institutions determine resource dependence, (ii) resource dependence does not affect growth, and (iii) resource abundance positively affects growth and institutional quality.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 06/61.

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:06-61
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Zürichbergstrasse 18, ZUE, CH-8092 Zürich

Phone: +41 44 632 03 87
Fax: +41 44 632 13 62
Web page:

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. Eric Neumayer, 2003. "Does the ‘Resource Curse’ hold for Growth in Genuine Income as well?," Others 0312002, EconWPA, revised 18 May 2004.
  2. Egil Matsen & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Optimal Dutch Disease," Working Paper Series 2703, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  3. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
  4. Durham, J Benson, 1999. "Economic Growth and Political Regimes," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 81-111, March.
  5. Atkinson, Giles & Hamilton, Kirk, 2003. "Savings, Growth and the Resource Curse Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1793-1807, November.
  6. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
  7. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Silje Aslaksen, 2006. "Constitutions and the resource curse," Working Paper Series 7506, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  8. Simeon Djankov & Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "The curse of aid," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 169-194, September.
  9. Davis, Graham A, 1998. "The minerals sector, sectoral analysis, and economic development," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 217-228, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  12. James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Politcal Foundations of the Resource Curse," DELTA Working Papers 2003-33, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. Mehlum, Halvor & Moene, Karl-Ove & Torvik, Ragnar, 2003. "Institutions and the resource curse," Memorandum 29/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  14. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  18. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
  19. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  20. Barro, Robert J, 1996. "Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  21. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
  22. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
  23. Lederman, Daniel & Maloney, William F., 2003. "Trade structure and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3025, The World Bank.
  24. Sheetal K. Chand & Karl Ove Moene, 1997. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," IMF Working Papers 97/100, International Monetary Fund.
  25. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
  26. Ning Ding & Barry C. Field, 2005. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growths," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(4).
  27. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Arvind Subramanian & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse; An Illustration From Nigeria," IMF Working Papers 03/139, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Clarida, Richard H & Findlay, Ronald, 1992. "Government, Trade, and Comparative Advantage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 122-27, May.
  30. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
  31. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  32. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  33. Dilip Mookherjee, 1997. "Wealth Effects, Incentives and Productivity," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 77, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  34. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. 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).
  37. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  38. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Constitutional Rules and Fiscal Policy Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 25-45, March.
  39. 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.
  40. Torsten Persson, 2005. "Forms of Democracy, Policy and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 11171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. 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.
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:eth:wpswif:06-61. 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.