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The Political Economy of the Resource Curse: A Literature Survey

Institute of Development Studies

Michael Rosser, Centre for the Future State, Institute of Development Studies, IDS Working Papers - 268, Brighton, United Kingdom, April 2006.

This paper presents a critical survey of the literature on the 'resource curse', focusing on three main questions: (i) are natural resources bad for development?; (ii) what causes the resource curse?; and, (iii) how can the resource curse be overcome? In respect of these questions, three observations are made. First, while the literature provides considerable evidence that natural resource abundance is associated with various negative development outcomes, this evidence is by no means conclusive.