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Oil and Democracy in Russia

Author

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  • Daniel Treisman

Abstract

Russia is often considered a perfect example of the so-called "resource curse"--the argument that natural resource wealth tends to undermine democracy. Given high oil prices, some observers see the country as virtually condemned to authoritarian government for the foreseeable future. Reexamining various data, I show that such fears are exaggerated. Evidence from around the world suggests that for countries like Russia with an established oil industry, even large increases in the scale of mineral incomes have only a minor effect on the political regime. In addition, Russia--a country with an industrialized economy, a highly educated, urbanized population, and an oil sector that remains majority private-owned--is unlikely to be susceptible to most of the hypothesized pernicious effects of resource dependence.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Treisman, 2010. "Oil and Democracy in Russia," NBER Working Papers 15667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15667
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15667.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 800-813, August.
    2. Sergei Guriev & Anton Kolotilin & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "Determinants of Nationalization in the Oil Sector: A Theory and Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 301-323.
    3. Roland Beck & Annette Kamps & Elitza Mileva, 2007. "Long-term growth prospects for the Russian economy," Occasional Paper Series 58, European Central Bank.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    5. Silje Aslaksen, 2010. "Oil and democracy: More than a cross-country correlation?," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(4), pages 421-431, July.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:645-668_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Suni, Paavo, 2007. "Oil Prices and the Russian Economy. Some Simulation Studies with NiGEM," Discussion Papers 1088, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Subnational resource curse: do economic or political institutions matter?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 154, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    2. Libman, Alexander, 2013. "Natural resources and sub-national economic performance: Does sub-national democracy matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 82-99.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-

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