Context Matters – Rethinking the Resource Curse in Sub-Saharan Africa
Natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from a bad reputation. Oil and diamonds, particularly, have been blamed for a number of Africa’s illnesses such as poverty, corruption, dictatorship and war. This paper outlines the different areas and transmission channels of how this so-called “resource curse” is said to materialize. By assessing empirical evidence on sub-Saharan Africa it concludes that the resource curse theory fails to sufficiently explain why and how several countries have not or only partly been affected by the “curse”. Theoretically, the paper argues that whether or not natural resources are detrimental to a country’s socio-economic and political development depends on a number of contextual variables, divided into country-specific conditions and resource-specific conditions (type, degree/level of abundance and dependence, resource revenue management, involved companies etc.). Methodologically, a future research agenda needs to examine the complex interplay of these contextual variables by adding sophisticated comparative research designs, especially “small and medium N” comparisons, to the tool box which has been widely confined to the juxtaposition of “large N” and country case studies.
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.:
- Lay, Jann & Omar Mahmoud, Toman, 2004. "Bananas, oil, and development: examining the resource curse and its transmission channels by resource type," Kiel Working Papers 1218, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002.
"Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "On the Welfare Cost of Economic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 677-698, 05.
- Ian Bannon & Paul Collier, 2003. "Natural Resources and Violent Conflict : Options and Actions," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15047, May.
- Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2006. "Political foundations of the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 447-468, April.
- Robinson, James A & Torvik, Ragnar & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Political Foundations of the Resource Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 3422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "Politcal Foundations of the Resource Curse," DELTA Working Papers 2003-33, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Bevan, David & Collier, Paul & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1999. "The Political Economy of Poverty, Equity, and Growth: Nigeria and Indonesia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195209860, April.
- Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 2003. "A model of commodity prices after Sir Arthur Lewis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 289-310, August.
- Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 2002. "A model of commodity prices after Sir Arthur Lewis," Working Papers 201, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 2002. "A Model of Commodity Prices after Sir Arthur Lewis," Working Papers 2002-19, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Torvik, Ragnar, 2002. "Natural resources, rent seeking and welfare," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 455-470, April.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-414, May.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2000. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2355, The World Bank.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Development and Comp Systems 0409007, EconWPA.
- Giovanni Sartori, 1991. "Comparing and Miscomparing," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 3(3), pages 243-257, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0508002. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.