The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Jonathan Isham

Jonathan Isham

Middlebury College - Department of Economics

Michael Woolcock

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Gwen Busby

Cornell University

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Many oil, mineral, and plantation crop-based economies experienced a substantial deceleration in growth following the commodity boom and bust of the 1970s and early 1980s. This article illustrates how countries dependent on point source natural resources (those extracted from a narrow geographic or economic base, such as oil and minerals) and plantation crops are predisposed to heightened economic and social divisions and weakened institutional capacity. This in turn impedes their ability to respond effectively to shocks, which previous studies have shown to be essential for sustaining rising levels of prosperity. Analysis of data on classifications of export structure, controlling for a wide array of other potential determinants of governance, shows that point source- and coffee and cocoa-exporting countries do relatively poorly across an array of governance indicators. These governance effects are not associated simply with being a natural resource exporter. Countries with natural resource exports that are diffuse-relying primarily on livestock and agricultural produce from small family farms-do not show the same strong effects-and have had more robust growth recoveries.

Keywords: tuberculosis, DOTS, direct observation, patient adherence, Pakistan

Suggested Citation

Isham, Jonathan and Woolcock, Michael and Busby, Gwen, The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth ( 2005). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 141-174, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=916896

Jonathan Isham (Contact Author)

Middlebury College - Department of Economics ( email )

Munroe Hall
Middlebury, VT 05753
United States
802-433-3238 (Phone)

Michael Woolcock

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
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202-473-9258 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/mwoolcock

Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government ( email )

Littauer-G-11G
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-0911 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ksgfaculty.harvard.edu/michael_woolcock

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gwen Busby

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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