Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040960
 
 

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Institutions, the Resource Curse and the Collapse Hypothesis


Robert Deacon


University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics; Resources for the Future; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

April 10, 2012


Abstract:     
In his influential and highly readable book Collapse, Jared Diamond claims that human-induced ecological and environmental degradation and the over-use of natural resources have caused civilizations to collapse. This paper examines the collapse thesis in light of recent research on the way natural resource abundance is linked to the economic and political paths societies follow — research on a phenomenon known as the natural resource curse. Countries with depleted environments tend to be economically poor and ill-governed, while those with better protected environments tend to be rich and democratic, so a correlation exists. However, evidence from the resource curse literature and other streams of research indicates that causation runs contrary to Diamond's thesis. Poverty and environmental degradation often are found in the same place because both are the consequence of dysfunctional governance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: collapse, resource curse, institutions

JEL Classification: Q30, H10, D72

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Date posted: April 16, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Deacon, Robert, Institutions, the Resource Curse and the Collapse Hypothesis (April 10, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040960 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2040960

Contact Information

Robert T. Deacon (Contact Author)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Economics ( email )
2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
805-893-3569 (Phone)
805-893-8830 (Fax)
Resources for the Future
1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center ( email )
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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