Natural resource wealth has often turned out to be a ‘curse’ rather than a ‘blessing’ for developing countries. Growth based exclusively on natural resources—such as oil, gas, and minerals—is often of a very narrow kind which lacks opportunities for including the poor. This condition—also called ‘the natural resource curse’ is on the focus of this project.
Management is key to turning curse into blessing
Natural resource wealth needs to be carefully managed if inclusive growth is to be achieved in low- and middle-income countries. Natural resources can also negatively affect the democratic process—the sector has often been associated with corruption and the non-transparent use of resource revenues for private gain instead of national development.
The project focuses on the implications of natural resources and their management for economic development—aiming to find ways in which resource wealth could be managed successfully in developing countries; for instance by using the revenues from oil, gas and minerals for development and poverty reduction.
In the light of more recent findings, the research also re-examines the notion of resource wealth as a curse in order to provide some counterbalance to the more fatalistic negative conclusions.
Knowledge to inform policy
The project will bring together a network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to share accumulated knowledge on the issue. By comparing experiences of resource wealth across countries, both successes and failures, the project will build and communicate a body of knowledge which will help national policy makers and their international partners.
The project is part of a larger research project Macro-economic management (M-EM) which explores policy priorities as the global economy undergoes transformation with more countries moving from low- to middle-income status.