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
Date Written: June 15, 2010
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.
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