What Have We Learned about the Resource Curse?

30 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2013 Last revised: 14 Aug 2014

See all articles by Michael L. Ross

Michael L. Ross

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 20, 2014

Abstract

Since 2001, hundreds of academic studies have examined the “resource curse,” meaning the claim that natural resource wealth tends to perversely affect a country's governance. There is now robust evidence that one type of mineral wealth, petroleum, has at least three harmful effects: it tends to make authoritarian regimes more durable, to increase certain types of corruption, and to help trigger violent conflict in low and middle income countries. Scholars have also made progress toward understanding the mechanisms that lead to these outcomes, and the conditions that make them more likely. This essay reviews the evidence behind these claims, the debates over their validity, and some of the unresolved puzzles for future research.

Keywords: resource curse, natural resources, political economy, democracy, conflict, institutions

Suggested Citation

Ross, Michael L., What Have We Learned about the Resource Curse? (June 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2342668 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2342668

Michael L. Ross (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States

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