Paradox of Resource Curse: Cross-Country Analysis

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-3-25-35
V. Sadovskaya (,
Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering SD RAS. 17, Academician Lavrentiev Prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation; 
V. Shmat (,

Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering SD RAS. 17, Academician Lavrentiev Prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The problem of the influence of the resources on the economic growth is dualistic. On the one hand, the abundance of resources is a factor favoring socio-economic development of the countries and territories. On the other hand, there were preconditions for the occurrence and strengthening of the effect of the dependence on resources. The dependence on resources in its extreme form is expressed in the effect of the resource curse. The resource curse problem has been studied for more than two decades. During this time researchers have created a set of econometric models, with the help of which the effect of resources and other factors (primarily – institutes) on the economic growth has been evaluated. But most of these studies were carried out for the period of 1970–1980’s, when there was a slowdown in the economic growth in major oil-exporting countries. This fact was the basis for the extension of the resource curse thesis. Despite the apparent persuasiveness and conclusiveness, this thesis has been challenged by many researchers. The failure of the resource curse theory was even more obvious in the 1990’s and 2000’s. This explains the relevance of modern cross-country econometric studies which were carried out by the authors. It is also necessary to correct the views on the resource factor. It is important to distinguish between a resource availability factor and a factor of resource dependence, that do not always exist together and that have a different impact on economic growth. The article presents the results of the cross-country econometric studies of the effects of resource supply and resource dependency, coupled with the influence of institutional factors. Analysis was carried out about the likely consequences in terms of economic growth. And the situation taking place in Russian economy was estimated. The overall conclusion is that resources themselves cannot be a curse, and only the excessive resource dependence has a negative effect on the economy. Specific risks and increased uncertainty are essential in the development of a resource-based economy. These conclusions are relevant for many countries including Russia. 

Keywords: natural resources, resource abundance, resource dependence, economic growth, “resource curse”, “Dutch disease”, institutions 


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For citation:
Sadovskaya V., Shmat V. Paradox of Resource Curse: Cross-Country Analysis. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 25-35.

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