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Resource Abundance, Poverty and Development

  • Erwin H. Bulte
  • Richard Damania
  • Robert T. Deacon

The negative correlation between resource endowments and GDP growth remains one of the most robust findings in the empirical growth literature, and has been coined the “resource curse hypothesis”. The policy consequences of this result are potentially far reaching. If natural resources are an inescapable curse, this may imply that countries richly endowed with natural resources can only develop by turning their backs on their comparative advantage and diversifying into other non-resource based activities. This papers analyzes whether the negative statistical relationship between natural resource abundance and economic growth spills over to other important economic and social indicators. The impact of resource wealth on several proxies of economic underdevelopment and welfare are scrutinized. While underdevelopment and welfare are clearly not independent of economic growth, it is known that there exist important differences between these variables. The research presented in this paper represents a step forward in the understanding of the resource curse, and the channels through which it is manifested.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 04-03.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0403
Contact details of provider: Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
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Web page: http://www.fao.org/es/esa/
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  10. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2013. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 570-615, August.
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  20. Lant Pritchett & Michael Woolcock & Gwen Busby & Jonathan Isham, 2004. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: How Natural Resource Export Structures Affect the Political Economy of Economic Growth," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0308r, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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