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The Resource Curse: How Can Oil Shape MENA Countries’ Economic Development?

Abstract : This chapter discusses whether the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries are prone to be cursed or blessed by their natural resources endowments. It thus reviews the literature on the resource curse theory. The existence of a resource curse is discussed and arguments against advocates of the resource curse are presented. Then, the resource curse transmission channels are presented. Finally, we present to what extent MENA countries are affected by the curse, drawing on existing literature as well as empirical data. The (scarce) literature shows that a resource curse may be underway in MENA economies. Broadly speaking, this literature often argues that the curse could be turned into a blessing through institutional improvements. The empirical data presented in this chapter tend to confirm this view. They show that the economic development of resource-rich MENAs has not been translated into human progress and has been largely non-inclusive. These results are stronger when the resource rent per capita is larger. Finally, the average institutional quality in resources-rich MENA countries appears to be lower than the average institutional quality in resources-poor MENA economies, suggesting some room for an institutional resource curse.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 1:34:55 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 3:45:33 AM

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Nicolas Clootens, Mohamed Sami Ben Ali. The Resource Curse: How Can Oil Shape MENA Countries’ Economic Development?. Mohamed Sami Ben Ali. Economic Development in the MENA Region, Springer International Publishing, pp.119-137, 2021, Perspectives on Development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, 978-3-030-66380-3. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-66380-3_8⟩. ⟨hal-03544033⟩

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