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Institutions and the resource curse

Author

Listed:
  • Halvor Mehlum

    (University of Oslo)

  • Karl Moene

    (University of Oslo)

  • Ragnar Torvik

    (NTNU, Trondheim)

Abstract

Countries rich in natural resources constitute both growth losers and growth winners. We claim that the main reason for these diverging experiences is differences in the quality of institutions. More natural resources push aggregate income down, when institutions are grabber friendly, while more resources raise income, when institutions are producer friendly. We test this theory building on Sachs and Warner's influential works on the resource curse. Our main hypothesis: that institutions are decisive for the resource curse, is confirmed. Our results are in sharp contrast to the claim by Sachs and Warner that institutions do not play a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Institutions and the resource curse," GE, Growth, Math methods 0210004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:0210004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stijns, Jean-Philippe C., 2005. "Natural resource abundance and economic growth revisited," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-130, June.
    2. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
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    7. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1997. "A Mixed Blessing: Natural Resources and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Zoega, Gylfi, 1999. "A Mixed Blessing," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 204-225, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural resources; Institutional quality; Growth; Rent-seeking;

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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