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Are natural resources cursed ? an investigation of the dynamic effects of resource dependence on institutional quality

  • De Rosa, Donato
  • Iootty, Mariana

This paper examines whether natural resource dependence has a negative influence on various indicators of institutional quality when controlling for the potential effects of other geographic, economic and cultural initial conditions. Analysis of a panel of countries from 1996 to 2010 indicates that a high degree of resource dependence, measured as the share of mineral fuel exports in a country's total exports, is associated with worse government effectiveness, as well as with reduced levels of competition across the economy. Furthermore, estimation of long-run elasticities suggests that government effectiveness and the intensity of domestic competition decrease over time as the dependence on natural resources increases. An illustration of the Russian case shows that the negative effects accumulate in the long run, leading to a worse deterioration of government effectiveness in Russia than in Canada, a country with a comparable resource endowment but far better overall institutional quality. This result is corroborated by a significant negative correlation found between regional resource dependence and an indicator of regulatory capture in Russian regions, which indicates that the regulatory environment is more likely to be subverted in regions that are more dependent on extractive industries. Overall, the findings would be consistent with a situation in which a generally weak institutional environment would allow resource interests to wield the bidding power accruing from export revenues to subvert the content of laws and regulations, as well as their enforcement. The fact that this is associated with negative externalities for the rest of the economy, notably by undermining a level playing field across non-resource sectors, sheds light on a potential channel for the resource curse.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6151.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6151
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  1. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2004. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_012, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  3. Frederick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2009. "Volatility and the natural resource curse," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 727-760, October.
  4. Paul Conway & Donato de Rosa & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Faye Steiner, 2006. "Regulation, Competition and Productivity Convergence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 509, OECD Publishing.
  5. Irina Slinko & Evgeny Yakovlev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003. "Laws for Sale: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers w0031, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. Brunnschweiler, Christa N., 2008. "Cursing the Blessings? Natural Resource Abundance, Institutions, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-419, March.
  7. Albouy, David, 2006. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Investigation of the Settler Mortality Data," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt8kt576x8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  9. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2000. "Rent-seeking and resource booms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 527-542, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Rudiger Ahrend, 2002. "Press Freedom, Human Capital and Corruption," DELTA Working Papers 2002-11, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  12. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Natural openness and good government," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2411, The World Bank.
  13. Egger, Peter & Winner, Hannes, 2005. "Evidence on corruption as an incentive for foreign direct investment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 932-952, December.
  14. Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
  15. Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst, 2002. "Labour Market Institutions, Product Market Regulation, and Innovation: Cross-Country Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 316, OECD Publishing.
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