Crowson - The Resource Curse: A Modern Myth?

Crowson, P., The Resource Curse: A Modern Myth? (page 3),  in Richards, J. P., Mining, Society and a Sustainable World (eds.) (London: Springer, 2009)

This book chapter examines the economic importance and the impact of mineral development rather than the environmental and social effects of mineral developments. The author considers the statistics on mineral dependency arguing that many commonly used measures under-estimate the contributions of minerals to economic activity. The author then examines ways in which the development of mineral wealth can positively or otherwise affect a country rich in mineral resource.

Historical examples of mineral development e.g. Victoria Gold Rush in Australia, 18th century Brazil, New Zealand Gold, Cornish Copper Mining and Chilean nitrates, were examined by the author who concludes that while some did indeed result in impoverishment, others were more positive and provided a foundation for continued post-mineral growth.

The author concludes that the key to a successful outcome of mineral development depends largely on institutional factors in the host countries and especially a government’s control of its rent-seeking behaviour.

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