Do Natural Resources Influence Who Comes to Power, and How?

66 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2016

See all articles by Maria Carreri

Maria Carreri

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Oeindrila Dube

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 15, 2016

Abstract

Do natural resources impair institutional outcomes? Existing work studies how natural resources influence the behavior of leaders in power. We study how they influence leaders' rise to power. Our analysis focuses on oil price shocks and local democracy in Colombia, a country mired in civil conflict. We find that when the price of oil rises, legislators affiliated with right-wing paramilitary groups win office more in oil-producing municipalities. Consistent with the use of force to gain power, positive price shocks also induce an increase in paramilitary violence, and reduce electoral competition: fewer candidates run for office, and winners are elected with a wider vote margin. Ultimately, fewer centrist legislators are elected to office, and there is diminished representation at the center. Our findings highlight how natural resources undermine democracy by distorting elections, and suggest that conflict leaves the political sector vulnerable to the resource curse.

Keywords: Natural Resources, Conflict, Elections, Democracy

JEL Classification: D72, H11, H70, O12, O13, Q34

Suggested Citation

Carreri, Maria and Dube, Oeindrila, Do Natural Resources Influence Who Comes to Power, and How? (January 15, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2716015

Maria Carreri

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Oeindrila Dube (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
74
Abstract Views
656
rank
429,860
PlumX Metrics