Do Better Institutions Alleviate the Resource Curse? Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Approach.

Malebogo Bakwena (2010). Do Better Institutions Alleviate the Resource Curse? Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Approach. PhD Thesis, Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Malebogo Bakwena
Thesis Title Do Better Institutions Alleviate the Resource Curse? Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Approach.
School, Centre or Institute Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-04
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Associate Prof Philip Bodman
Dr K K Tang
Dr Thanh Le
Total pages 197
Total black and white pages 197
Subjects 14 Economics
Abstract/Summary Contrary to conventional theory, a growing body of evidence suggests that economies with abundant natural resources perform badly in terms of economic growth relative to their resource poor counterparts—the so-called resource curse hypothesis. However, this general hypothesis is not robust. It clearly fails to account for the differing experiences of resource abundant economies. For instance, the theory, applied generally, offers no explanation as to why economies like Botswana and Norway have exceptional growth while Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have stagnated. Prompted by these experiences, the thesis investigates the circumstances under which the curse is more or less likely to exist. In particular, the thesis finds evidence that the major reason for the diverging experiences is the differences in the quality of institutions across countries. The thesis tests the hypothesis that the effect of resources on growth is conditional on the type and quality of institutions, by further building on Boschini, Pettersson, and Roine’s (2007) and Mehlum, Moene, and Torvik’s (2006b) influential works on the role of institutions in mitigating the resource curse. Advances are made by: (a) using a panel of up to 53 countries with different levels of development, institutional quality and natural resource abundance over the period 1984-2003; (b) applying a two-step system Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) estimation that accounts for biases associated with omitted variables, endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity that potentially affect existing cross-country Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) growth results; (c) supplementing results of the commonly used International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) institutional performance indicators with those of institutional design indicators–that is, highlighting the role of electoral rules and form of government; (d) using an institutional quality measure that is more related to financial institutions than just economic or political institutions; (e) using a resource abundance indicator that focuses on non-renewable resources alone rather than the ones commonly used in the literature that include renewable resources, which are inappropriate. The key hypothesis that natural resource economies are not destined to be cursed if they have good institutions is confirmed by the empirical results of the thesis. Specifically, the results suggest that (a) adopting a democratic regime is better than a non-democratic one, in terms of generating growth from resource abundance (b) the electoral rules that a country adopts matter, i.e. having a democratic proportional rather than a democratic majority regime increases the growth benefits of resource abundance (c) as far as the form of government adopted is concerned, a democratic parliamentary rather than a democratic presidential regime generates more economic growth from its abundant natural resource (d) a well functioning banking sector induces more (resource abundant generated) growth and capital accumulation. Therefore, the lessons for policy makers who struggle to overcome the impediments to economic development that potentially accompany the “curse of resource abundance” are the need to develop and maintain better institutions and adopt improved management strategies of the financial proceeds forthcoming from such abundance.
Keyword (institutional quality, resource curse, dynamic panel, generalised method of moments)

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Created: Wed, 07 Apr 2010, 03:03:04 EST by Ms Malebogo Bakwena on behalf of Library - Information Access Service