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Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration From Nigeria

  • Arvind Subramanian
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Some natural resources-oil and minerals in particular-exert a negative and nonlinear impact on growth via their deleterious impact on institutional quality. We show this result to be very robust. The Nigerian experience provides telling confirmation of this aspect of natural resources. Waste and poor institutional quality stemming from oil appear to have been primarily responsible for Nigeria's poor long-run economic performance. We propose a solution for addressing this resource curse which involves directly distributing the oil revenues to the public. Even with all the difficulties that will no doubt plague its actual implementation, our proposal will, at the least, be vastly superior to the status quo. At best, however, it could fundamentally improve the quality of public institutions and, as a result, durably raise long-run growth performance.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/139.

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Length: 47
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/139
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  1. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1994. "Factor Endowments: Institutions, and Differential Paths of Growth Among New World Economies: A View from Economic Historians of the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers 0066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  3. Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1999. "The Political Economy of Poverty, Equity, and Growth: Nigeria and Indonesia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195209860.
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  8. Rolando Ossowski & Steven Barnett & James Daniel & Jeffrey M. Davis, 2001. "Stabilization and Savings Funds for Nonrenewable Resources," IMF Occasional Papers 205, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Pinto, Brian, 1987. "Nigeria during and after the Oil Boom: A Policy Comparison with Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(3), pages 419-45, May.
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  11. Jan Gunning & Paul Collier, 1996. "Policy towards Commodity Shocks in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 96/84, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Carlos Leite & Jens Weidmann, 1999. "Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 99/85, International Monetary Fund.
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  14. 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.
  15. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  16. Ehtisham Ahmad & Raju Jan Singh, 2003. "Political Economy of Oil-Revenue Sharing in a Developing Country: Illustrations from Nigeria," IMF Working Papers 03/16, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Ricardo Hausmann & Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "An Alternative Interpretation of the 'Resource Curse': Theory and Policy Implications," NBER Working Papers 9424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Claudio Bravo-Ortega & Jose De Gregorio, . "The Relative Richness of the Poor? Natural Resources, Human Capital and Economic Growth," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 139, Central Bank of Chile.
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