Natural Resources, Institutions Quality, and Economic Growth; A Cross-Country Analysis

Authors

1 STM College, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

2 Department of Economics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Abstract

Abstract[1]
Natural resources as a source of wealth can increase prosperity or impede economic growth.  Empirical studies with different specifications and data are also mixed on whether natural resources are curse or blessing. In fact, the variety of model specifications, measurements, and samples in the empirical literature makes it difficult to generalize the results. In this study, a growth model including natural resources is developed to estimate the effect of natural resource dependency on economic growth, using different measures of natural resources and controlling for the quality of institutions in 149 countries during 1996-2010. The results show that natural resource abundance, proxied by per capita natural wealth, has a positive and significant effect on GDP growth.  However, the impact of natural resource dependency on GDP growth depends on the type of natural resources and the quality of institutions. Fuel dependency, for example, can be considered a strong curse, as it has no effect on GDP growth, and agriculture and food dependency a weak curse, as it can increase GDP growth in the presence of good institutional qualities. Results also show that among different indexes used for institutional qualities, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and rule of law are more effective in avoiding the negative effect of resource dependency. The thresholds above which different types of institutional qualities can turn a curse to a blessing are also estimated for different types of natural resource dependency.
 



[1]. We would like to thank participants at the Departmental Seminar at the University of Saskatchewan in October 2013, the STM faculty seminar in November 2014, and the 7th International Interdisciplinary Social Science Conference, held in Barcelona, Spain, June 2012, for their helpful comments.

Keywords


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