Handbook on the Economics of Natural Resources
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Handbook on the Economics of Natural Resources

Edited by Robert Halvorsen and David F. Layton

The topics discussed in the Handbook on the Economics of Natural Resources are essential for those looking to understand how best to use and conserve the resources that form the foundation for human well-being. These include nonrenewable resources, modeling of biological resources, conservation of biological resources and water resources. The expert contributors of this Handbook provide solutions to many of the problems that growing populations now face, and sketch the likely future developments in the field of natural resource economics whilst paving the way for new thinking.
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Chapter 6: The political basis of the resource curse

Richard M. Auty


Commencing in the late 1980s, country case studies alerted scholars to an upsurge in the number of developing countries experiencing resource curse symptoms. The case studies in turn triggered statistical analysis starting with Sachs and Warner (1995) that aimed to verify and explain the phenomenon. These studies achieved neither of their objectives, creating instead an impasse of claim and counter-claim. Rather, the statistical analyses extended the list of possible explanations for the resource curse from adverse terms of trade and commodity price volatility, through Dutch disease effects and the nature of commodity linkages into institutions, policy error and rent-seeking (van der Ploeg 2011). The analyses also spawned doubts about the existence of a resource curse that appeared to deepen as the time period observed by the researchers extended beyond the initial 1970–1989 focus of Sachs and Warner into the 1990s and 2000s (Lederman and Maloney 2007).

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