The Oil Curse

Causes, Consequences, and Policy Implications

Authored by: Richard Auty

Handbook of Oil Politics

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  January  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857435832
eBook ISBN: 9780203851012
Adobe ISBN:


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A study of resource-driven development from 1960 to 1997 reveals scant evidence of a resource curse in the 1960s when the income per head of the resource-rich economies remained on average 50% above those of the resource-poor economies (Auty 2001, 5). However, when commodity price volatility increased during 1974–85 growth collapses proliferated, especially among resource-rich economies. Thereafter, during 1985–97 both large and small resource-rich economies grew slower than the resource-poor economies, whose mean income per head surpassed that of the resource-rich economies. Among the resource-rich economies the mineral economies had the highest resource rent but the slowest growth, with oil exporters having the highest rent and weakest growth of all (Table 24.1).

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