Stevens and Dietsche - Resource Curse: An Analysis of Causes, Experiences and Possible Ways Forward

Stevens, P., and Dietsche, E., 'Resource Curse: An Analysis of Causes, Experiences and Possible Ways Forward,' (CEPMLP, University of Dundee, 2007)

As higher prices for oil, gas and mineral resources persist, questions about how exporting countries can counter the challenges of the resource curse have remained potent. This paper attempts a review of the existing literature on the subject by looking at the continuing discussion on meeting the challenges of the resource curse. The paper addresses four questions: What are the positive and negative effects of high oil, gas and mineral prices on exporters? What have been the experiences with managing natural resource revenues? Can good institutions ensure that natural resource revenues have a positive impact on development? And what is the direction for the way forward?

Critical amongst the issues raised by the authors is their argument that the current emphasis on capacity building and the role of ‘institutions’ as potential solutions to the resource curse problem misses the point having ignored the social and political conditions under which these institutions are formed and run. The authors conclude by noting the uncertainties which persist in the factors that induce positive institutional changes; and therefore call for further research into this area of resource wealth and management.


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