IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A survey of literature on the resource curse: critical analysis of the main explanations, empirical tests and resource proxies

  • Nuno Torres


    (CEF.UP and FEP, Universidade do Porto)

  • Óscar Afonso


    (CEF.UP and FEP, Universidade do Porto)

  • Isabel Soares


    (CEF.UP and FEP, Universidade do Porto)

This paper presents a survey of literature on the `resource curse', a puzzling empirical result that associates natural resource riches with lower economic growth. We show the main theories that attempt to explain the curse ? ranging from the structuralist theses of the 1950s to recent and more consensual institutional causes ?, and present a critical review of results in view of theory, estimation procedures and used resource proxies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series CEF.UP Working Papers with number 1302.

in new window

Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:1302
Contact details of provider: Postal: Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200 PORTO
Phone: 351-22-5571100
Fax: 351-22-5505050
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Acemoglu, Daron, 1995. "Reward structures and the allocation of talent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-33, January.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Behrman, Jere R., 1987. "Commodity price instability and economic goal attainment in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 559-573, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  6. Christa N. Brunnschweiler, 2006. "Cursing the blessings? Natural resource abundance, institutions, and economic growth," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/51, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  7. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
  8. Bleaney, Michael & Nishiyama, Akira, 2002. " Explaining Growth: A Contest between Models," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 43-56, March.
  9. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2004. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_012, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  10. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael Alexeev & Robert Conrad, 2009. "The Elusive Curse of Oil," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 586-598, August.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Bravo-Ortega, Claudio & de Gregorio, Jose, 2005. "The relative richness of the poor? natural resources, human capital, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3484, The World Bank.
  14. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
  15. Anca Cotet & Kevin K. Tsui, 2010. "Resource Curse or Malthusian Trap? Evidence from Oil Discoveries and Extractions," Working Papers 201001, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
  16. Wheeler, David, 1984. "Sources of stagnation in sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, January.
  17. Anne D. Boschini & Jan Pettersson & Jesper Roine, 2006. "Resource curse or not: A question of appropriability," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_050, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  18. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2003. "The Case for Restricting Fiscal Policy Discretion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1419-1447.
  19. 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.
  20. Keay, Ian, 2007. "The Engine or the Caboose? Resource Industries and Twentieth-Century Canadian Economic Performance," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(01), pages 1-32, March.
  21. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Agricultural Productivity, Comparative Advantage, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 934, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  22. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 2005. "Policy Volatility, Institutions and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Arvind Subramanian & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration From Nigeria," IMF Working Papers 03/139, International Monetary Fund.
  24. 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.
  25. Moran, Cristian, 1983. "Export fluctuations and economic growth : An empirical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 195-218.
  26. Auty, Richard M., 2001. "The political economy of resource-driven growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 839-846, May.
  27. Guy Michaels, 2011. "The Long Term Consequences of Resource‐Based Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 31-57, March.
  28. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
  29. Davis, Graham A., 1995. "Learning to love the Dutch disease: Evidence from the mineral economies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1765-1779, October.
  30. Lutz, Matthias, 1994. "The effects of volatility in the terms of trade on output growth: New evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(12), pages 1959-1975, December.
  31. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
  32. Mark Gradstein, 2008. "Institutional Traps And Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1043-1066, 08.
  33. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
  34. Rick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2010. "The Pungent Smell of 'Red Herrings': subsoil assets, rents, volatility and the resource curse," OxCarre Working Papers 033, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  35. Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2006. "The Resource Curse Revisited and Revised: A Tale of Paradoxes and Red Herrings," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/61, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  36. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 1996. "Primary Exports and Economic Growth in Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 465-475, 07.
  37. William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Lethal Model 2: The Limits to Growth Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 1-60.
  38. James L. Butkiewicz & Halit Yanikkaya, 2010. "Minerals, Institutions, Openness, and Growth: An Empirical Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(2), pages 313-328.
  39. Kevin K. Tsui, 2011. "More Oil, Less Democracy: Evidence from Worldwide Crude Oil Discoveries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 89-115, March.
  40. Atkinson, Giles & Hamilton, Kirk, 2003. "Savings, Growth and the Resource Curse Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1793-1807, November.
  41. Cuddington, John T., 1992. "Long-run trends in 26 primary commodity prices : A disaggregated look at the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 207-227, October.
  42. Graham Davis, 2011. "The resource drag," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-176, June.
  43. 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.
  44. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
  45. Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2001. "Natural Resources and Economic Growth: What Is the Connection?," CESifo Working Paper Series 530, CESifo Group Munich.
  46. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:1302. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Bonanca)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.