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Can more be less? An experimental test of the resource curse

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  • Al-Ubaydli, Omar
  • McCabe, Kevin
  • Twieg, Peter

Abstract

Several scholars have argued that abundant natural resources can be harmful to economic performance under bad institutions and helpful when institutions are good. These arguments have either been theoretical or based on naturally-occurring variation in natural resource wealth. We test this theory using a laboratory experiment to reap the benefits of randomized control. We conduct this experiment in a virtual world (Second LifeTM) to make institutions more visceral. We find support for the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Al-Ubaydli, Omar & McCabe, Kevin & Twieg, Peter, 2014. "Can more be less? An experimental test of the resource curse," MPRA Paper 55381, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:55381
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    1. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:276-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Innocenti, Alessandro, 2017. "Virtual reality experiments in economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 71-77.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    resource curse; institutions; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts

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