Policy Memos

A Curse or a Blessing?: What to Expect from a Typical Developing Resource-Abundant State

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It might seem obvious that a country endowed with larger quantities of natural resources has an advantage and, other conditions being similar, will grow faster than resource-poor countries. This is not the case, however. Between 1960 and 1990, the per capita incomes of resource-poor states grew two to three times faster than the per capita income of resource-abundant states, and this gap in growth rates appears to be widening with time. This surprising phenomenon has become a subject of intensive research, both empirical and theoretical. Hundreds of papers have been published supporting the “resource curse” thesis and offering new explanations of mechanisms and effects that inhibit growth in resource-rich economies. Several recent papers, however, question the very existence of the “resource curse” and make it necessary to reconsider the hypotheses about the impact of resource abundance on economic growth. [...]

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About the author

Research Director, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (Berlin); Principal Researcher, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor Emeritus, New Economic School (Moscow); Adjunct Research Professor, Institute of European and Russian Studies, Carleton
Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, Berlin