Natural resources: A blessing or a curse?

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

John Devereux, Committee Chair


Natural resources have traditionally been viewed as a positive factor for growth. But empirical observation has led to a new idea that natural resource abundance hinders growth. This is the Resource Curse Thesis that asserts that resource rich countries growth slower than resource poor economies. Current theoretical models that support the Resource Curse Thesis include rent seeking, Dutch disease arguments, and overshooting of the steady state.This dissertation critically analyzes the Resource Curse Thesis in two ways. First, a theoretical analysis of natural resources in growth is used. An outcome of the model is that natural resource endowments are positively related to development. Then, an empirical case is made against the main arguments of the Resource view. A Barro-type model is used in a cross-country study for the period 1970--1990 to analyze the relationship between growth and natural resources. The empirical results do not support the Resource Curse Thesis.


Economics, General

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