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A Paradox of Plenty? Rent Distribution and Political Stability in Oil States

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Basedau

    () (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)

  • Wolfram Lacher

    () (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Abstract

Resource curse theory claims that resource abundance encourages violent conflict. A study of 37 oil-producing developing countries, however, reveals that oil states with very high levels of oil revenue are remarkably stable. An analysis of the ways in which governments spend oil revenues identifies two distinct types of rentier systems – the large-scale distributive state and the patronage-based system – which are strongly linked to instability or its absence. However, some deviant cases, such as Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, illustrate the need for further research. Apparently, the notion of a “paradox of plenty” has neglected rentier mechanisms that avoid conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Basedau & Wolfram Lacher, 2006. "A Paradox of Plenty? Rent Distribution and Political Stability in Oil States," GIGA Working Paper Series 21, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:21
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.giga-hamburg.de/pdf/giga_06_wp21_basedau-lacher.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, September.
    2. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
    3. Christopher Cramer, 2003. "Does inequality cause conflict?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 397-412.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Annegret Mähler, 2009. "Oil in Venezuela: Triggering Violence or Ensuring Stability? A Context-sensitive Analysis of the Ambivalent Impact of Resource Abundance," GIGA Working Paper Series 112, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource Curse; Paradox of Plenty; Oil; Rentier State; Violent Conflict; Political Stability; Developing World;

    JEL classification:

    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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