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Cursed by resources or institutions?

  • Halvor Mehlum


    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Norway)

  • Karl Ove Moene


    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Norway)

  • Ragnar Torvik


    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Natural resource abundant countries constitute both growth losers and growth winners, and the main difference between the success cases and the cases of failure lays in the quality of institutions. With grabber friendly institutions more natural resources push aggregate income down, while with producer friendly institutions more natural resources increase income. Such a theory finds strong support in data. A key question we also discuss is if resources in addition alter the quality of institutions. When that is the case, countries with bad institutions suffer a double resource curse - as the deterioration of institutions strenghtens the negative effect of more natural resources.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 5705.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 25 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:5705
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  1. Olsson, Ola & Congdon, Heather, 2003. "Congo: The Prize of Predation," Working Papers in Economics 97, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 30 Oct 2003.
  2. Stijns, Jean-Philippe C., 2001. "Natural Resource Abundance And Economic Growth Revisited," Berkeley Economics Dissertations-in-Progress Series 25127, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  3. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Zoega, Gylfi, 2001. "Natural Resources and Economic Growth: The Role of Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2743, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," NBER Working Papers 9804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Mehlum,H. & Moene,K.O. & Torvik,R., 1999. "Crime induced poverty traps," Memorandum 35/1999, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  8. repec:cup:macdyn:v:3:y:1999:i:2:p:204-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Egil Matsen & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Optimal Dutch Disease," Working Paper Series 2703, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  10. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  11. Lane, Frederic C., 1958. "Economic Consequences of Organized Violence," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(04), pages 401-417, December.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1987. "The narrow moving band, the Dutch disease, and the competitive consequences of Mrs. Thatcher : Notes on trade in the presence of dynamic scale economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 41-55, October.
  13. Mehlum,H. & Moene,K. & Torvik,R., 2000. "Predator or prey? : parasitic enterprises in economic development," Memorandum 27/2000, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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, 09.
  15. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
  16. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
  17. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Institutions and the resource curse," Development and Comp Systems 0210003, EconWPA.
  18. Lederman, Daniel & Maloney, William F., 2003. "Trade structure and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3025, The World Bank.
  19. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
  21. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Plunder & Protection Inc," Development and Comp Systems 0210002, EconWPA.
  22. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  26. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "A Mixed Blessing: Natural Resources and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  28. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "A Mixed Blessing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 204-225, June.
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