Natural Resources in Latin America: Neither Curse Nor Blessing

Oxford Handbook of Latin American Political Economy, 2012

21 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2010 Last revised: 9 Jan 2012

Stephen Haber

Stanford University - Hoover Institution and Political Science

Victor A. Menaldo

University of Washington - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 15, 2010

Abstract

We review the methodological innovations and findings from an ongoing research program that reevaluates the resource curse hypothesis on a global scale using a time-series and counterfactually-driven approach to the data (Haber and Menaldo 2010). While we do not find any evidence that increases in natural resource reliance undermine democracy or prevent democratization, some of our results suggest a resource blessing. We also explore why our findings diverge from conventional wisdom, offering both methodological and theoretical reasons why the resource curse theory and its supporting evidence is flawed. Finally, we also undertake a reevaluation of the evidence for a resource blessing in Latin America along the lines pursued in our general research program. Contradicting extant work on this topic, our findings suggest that natural resources are neither a curse nor blessing in Latin America.

Suggested Citation

Haber, Stephen and Menaldo, Victor A., Natural Resources in Latin America: Neither Curse Nor Blessing (June 15, 2010). Oxford Handbook of Latin American Political Economy, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1625504

Stephen H. Haber

Stanford University - Hoover Institution and Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Victor A. Menaldo (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Department of Political Science ( email )

101 Gowen Hall
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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