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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Resource Abundance, Poverty and Development

  • Author(s): Bulte, Erwin H
  • Damania, Richard
  • Deacon, Robert
  • et al.

We examine the relationship between resource abundance and several indicators of human welfare. Consistent with the existing literature on the relationship between resource abundance and economic growth, we find that resource-abundant countries tend to suffer low levels of human development. While we find no support for a direct link between resources and welfare, there is an indirect link that operates through institutional quality. There are also significant differences in the effects that resources have on different measures of institutional quality. These results imply that the “resource curse” is a more encompassing phenomenon than previously considered, and that key differences exist between the effects of different resource types on various aspects of governance and human welfare.

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