Natural Resources and Economic Growth Revisited

62 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2001

See all articles by Jean-Philippe Stijns

Jean-Philippe Stijns

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Universite de Liege

Date Written: March 2001


Data on energy and mineral reserves suggest that natural resource abundance has not been a significant structural determinant of economic growth between 1970 and 1989. The story behind the effect of natural resources on economic growth is a complex one that typical growth regressions do not capture well. Preliminary evidence suggests that natural resources may affect economic growth through both "positive" and "negative channels." Potential reverse causality running from these "channels" to fuel and mineral reserves further complicates the analysis. I conjecture that, as economic historians suggest, the ability of a country to exploit its resource base depends critically on the nature of the learning process involved.

Keywords: Natural Resources, Economic Growth, Development

JEL Classification: F43, N500, O4, O13, Q0

Suggested Citation

Stijns, Jean-Philippe, Natural Resources and Economic Growth Revisited (March 2001). Available at SSRN: or

Jean-Philippe Stijns (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-501-8662 (Phone)
510-642-6614 (Fax)


Universite de Liege ( email )

Faculte d' Economie Boulevard du Rectorat 7 (B31)
B-4000 Liege

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