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Exorcizing the Resource Curse: Minerals as a Knowledge Industry, Past and Present

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  • Gavin Wright
  • Jesse Czelusta

Abstract

July 2002 Recent literature argues that natural resource abundance is likely to be bad for economic growth. This paper provides a counterargument by highlighting examples of successful resource-based development. The first is historical: the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. We show that U.S. mineral abundance was an endogenous historical phenomenon driven by collective learning, increasing returns, and an accommodating legal environment. Recent instances of successful resource-based growth affirm that so-called “nonrenewable” resources can be progressively extended through exploration, technological progress, and investments in appropriate knowledge. Indeed, minerals constitute a high-tech knowledge industry in many countries. Working Papers Index

Suggested Citation

  • Gavin Wright & Jesse Czelusta, 2002. "Exorcizing the Resource Curse: Minerals as a Knowledge Industry, Past and Present," Working Papers 02008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:02008
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    File URL: http://www-econ.stanford.edu/faculty/workp/swp02008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stijns, Jean-Philippe C., 2005. "Natural resource abundance and economic growth revisited," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-130, June.
    2. Harris, DeVerle P., 1993. "Mineral resource stocks and information," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1011-1076 Elsevier.
    3. Auty, Richard M., 2001. "The political economy of resource-driven growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 839-846, May.
    4. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Tilton, John & Landsberg, Hans, 1997. "Innovation, Productivity Growth, and the Survival of the U.S. Copper Industry," Discussion Papers dp-97-41, Resources For the Future.
    7. 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.
    8. Rodriguez, Francisco & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 1999. "Why Do Resource-Abundant Economies Grow More Slowly?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-303, September.
    9. Leamer, Edward E. & Maul, Hugo & Rodriguez, Sergio & Schott, Peter K., 1999. "Does natural resource abundance increase Latin American income inequality?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 3-42, June.
    10. Sukkoo Kim, 1995. "Expansion of Markets and the Geographic Distribution of Economic Activities: The Trends in U. S. Regional Manufacturing Structure, 1860–1987," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 881-908.
    11. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catarina Roseta-Palma & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Tiago Neves Sequeira, 2008. "Towards an Inclusive Model of Sustainable Growth," Working Papers Series 1 ercwp0408, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
    2. Barbier,Edward B., 2007. "Natural Resources and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521706513, May.
    3. Edward Barbier, 2007. "Frontiers and sustainable economic development," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 271-295, May.
    4. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    5. Smulders, J.A., 2005. "Endogenous technological change, natural resources and growth," Other publications TiSEM d6e27500-7604-420f-9961-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2011. "Growth by Destination (Where You Export Matters): Trade with China and Growth in African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 23(2), pages 202-218.
    7. Eliasson, Ludvik & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2004. "Renewable resources in an endogenously growing economy: balanced growth and transitional dynamics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1018-1049, November.
    8. Jean-Luc Hélis & Teresa Daban Sanchez, 2010. "A Public Financial Management Framework for Resources-Producing Countries," IMF Working Papers 10/72, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Margarita V. Alario & Leda Nath & Steve Carlton-Ford, 2016. "Climatic disruptions, natural resources, and conflict: the challenges to governance," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 6(2), pages 251-259, June.

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