Countries blessed with abundant natural resources often seek financial and political power from their supposedly lucky status. But the potentially negative impact of natural resources on development of poor countries is captured in the phrase "the resource curse." Instead of success and prosperity, producers of gold, oil, rubber, sugar, and other commodities—many in the least developed parts of Africa and Asia—often remain mired in poverty and plagued by economic mismanagement, political authoritarianism, foreign exploitation, and violent conflict.
These difficulties and the many challenges they pose for American foreign policy are the focus of this important new book. Marcus Noland and Cullen S. Hendrix review recent developments as poor countries struggle to avoid the "resource curse" but fall too often into that trap. They call for support for international efforts to encourage greater transparency and improved management of natural resource wealth and for new partnerships between the West and the developing world to "confront the curse."
Data disclosure: The data underlying this analysis are available here.
3. Natural Resources and Domestic Politics
6. Good Governance Initiatives
Appendix A Determinants of Official Chinese Development Finance, 2000–11
Appendix B Determinants of Arms Transfers to African Countries, 2000–11