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Natural-Resource Wealth: Elbow Grease or Fuel for Poverty?

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We consider the effect of natural resources on growth using a two-sector model (resource and nonresource). Government taxes the nonresource sector and chooses institutional quality, which determines productivity in the nonresource sector and the government's ability to appropriate resource rents. We find that resource booms harm institutions. Their effect on growth depends on relative sector sizes: when rents are more substantial, governments are likelier to corrupt institutions to secure larger shares of rents. Cross-country panel data substantiate the results: countries in the bottom tercile of value added in manufacturing and services divided by GDP are cursed by resources; others are blessed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2011

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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