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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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  • De Rosa, Donato & Iootty, Mariana, 2012. "Are natural resources cursed ? an investigation of the dynamic effects of resource dependence on institutional quality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6151, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6151

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Arshad Hayat, 2014. "FDI and Economic Growth: The Role of Natural Resources," Working Papers IES 2014/36, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Dec 2014.
    2. Hagemann, Harald & Kufenko, Vadim, 2014. "The political Kuznets curve for Russia: Income inequality, rent seeking regional elites and empirical determinants of protests during 2011/2012," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 39/2013, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
    3. Badeeb, Ramez Abubakr & Lean, Hooi Hooi & Clark, Jeremy, 2017. "The evolution of the natural resource curse thesis: A critical literature survey," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 123-134.
    4. Demir, Firat, 2016. "Effects of FDI Flows on Institutional Development: Does It Matter Where the Investors are from?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 341-359.
    5. Ahmadov, Ingilab & Mammadov, Jeyhun & Aslanli, Kenan, 2013. "Assessment of Institutional Quality in Resource-Rich Caspian Basin Countries," MPRA Paper 47430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Marek Hanusch, 2013. "Islam and democracy: a response," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 315-321, March.
    7. Jeyhun Mammadov & Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jeyhun Mammadov & Prof. Dr. Ingilab Ahmadov & PhD candidate, Kenan Aslanli, 2013. "Assessment of Institutional Quality in Resource Rich Caspian Basin Countries," International Conference on Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-economic Development 5994, EcoMod.

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    Environmental Economics&Policies; Governance Indicators; Economic Theory&Research; Emerging Markets; E-Business;

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