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Exploiting a natural resource in a poor country: The good, the bad and the ugly sides of the Kyrgyz Republic’s gold mine

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  • Richard Pomfret

    () (University of Adelaide)

Abstract

What is required for a poor country to turn a valuable resource endowment into a driver of development? The resource curse literature highlighted the importance of institutions and the nature of the resource, neither of which is a useful policy guide. A more recent literature views resource exploitation as a series of hurdles that must be negotiated: ensuring production, dividing revenues, and using the added public finance. The Kyrgyz Republic’s Kumtor gold mine is a useful case study in that the country cleared the first hurdle but over almost a quarter century was embroiled in negotiating the second hurdle. The paper assesses the extent to which such problems are inevitable for a small poor country, and the consequences of an extended conflictual process.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Pomfret, 2018. "Exploiting a natural resource in a poor country: The good, the bad and the ugly sides of the Kyrgyz Republic’s gold mine," Working Papers 372, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
  • Handle: RePEc:ost:wpaper:372
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    2. Christa Brunnschweiler, 2009. "Oil and Growth in Transition Countries," OxCarre Working Papers 029, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Anthony J. Venables, 2016. "Using Natural Resources for Development: Why Has It Proven So Difficult?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 161-184, Winter.
    4. Richard Pomfret, 2011. "Exploiting Energy and Mineral Resources in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 53(1), pages 5-33, March.
    5. repec:eee:inteco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:7-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Li, Bin Grace & Gupta, Pranav & Yu, Jiangyan, 2017. "From natural resource boom to sustainable economic growth: Lessons from Mongolia," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 7-25.
    7. Alexeev, Michael & Conrad, Robert, 2011. "The natural resource curse and economic transition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 445-461.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Resource curse; minerals; Kyrgyzstan;

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources
    • N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East

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