Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lifting the Resource Curse?

In the NY Times, Tyler Cowen writes about the "resource curse" that afflicts many low-income countries:
It is unfortunate that economists have to debate whether natural resources are a blessing or a curse for a developing nation. Minerals, diamonds or oil may appear to represent automatic wealth but resource-rich countries usually become mired in corruption. High oil revenues, for instance, allow a government to maintain power and reward political supporters without doing much for its people. The government of Nigeria has taken in billions from high oil prices, yet the average person was probably better off 40 years ago. The easy-to-reach wealth of a resource also encourages coups, and thus political stability is problematic.
He goes on to describe a potential solution.


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