Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption, and Economic Growth

35 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2001

Date Written: July 1999


This paper argues that natural resource abundance creates opportunities for rent-seeking behavior and is an important factor in determining a country’s level of corruption. In a simple growth model, we illustrate the interrelationships between natural resources, corruption, and economic growth, and discuss potential anti-corruption policies. We show that the extent of corruption depends on natural resource abundance, government policies, and the concentration of bureaucratic power. Furthermore, the growth effects of natural resource discoveries and anticorruption policies crucially depend on the economy’s state of development. We empirically corroborate the model’s implications in a cross-country framework with both corruption and growth endogenized.

Keywords: WP, natural resource, economic growth, shadow price, neoclassical growth model, natural resources, corruption, anti-corruption policies, cross-country study, goods sector, resource boom, terms of trade, open economy, extraction activity, economic system, Trade policy, Personal income, Commodity prices, Africa

JEL Classification: Q32, D73, Q00, F13, D31, Q02

Suggested Citation

Weidmann, Jens, Does Mother Nature Corrupt? Natural Resources, Corruption, and Economic Growth (July 1999). IMF Working Paper No. 1999/085, Available at SSRN:

Jens Weidmann

Federal Statistical Office ( email )

Gustav - Stresemann - Ring 11
Wiesbaden, 65189

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

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics