The Resource Curse

Syed Mansoob Murshed

£55.00  |  $70.00
ISBN 9781911116486
£16.00  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781911116493
£16.00  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781911116509
168 pages   |  210 x 148mm   |  30 September 2018


"Mansoob Murshed's book provides an up-to-date and comprehensive, yet concise, critical review of research into the resource curse. It meticulously explains the often conflicting findings produced by the surge in statistical analysis since the 1990s and argues for embracing additional more flexible approaches such as comparative case studies." – Richard Auty, Lancaster University


The resource curse, or paradox of plenty, refers to the long-established notion central in development economics that countries rich in natural resources, particularly minerals and fuels, perform less well economically than countries with fewer natural resources. In other words, resources are an economic curse rather than a blessing.

This short primer explores the complexities of this idea and the debates that surround it, in particular under what conditions the resource curse might operate, if not universal. Discussion ranges over the nature of resource booms, the benefits and costs of export-led growth, the problems of deindustrialization and manufacturing base erosion, rent-seeking behaviour and corruption and the empirical evidence of the effects of natural resource dependence on growth. The book also considers the links between resource rents and the risk of conflict and civil war.

The treatment draws throughout on a range of illustrative examples from across the developed and developing world and offers an authoritative introduction to one of the most perplexing issues for economic growth.


1. Introduction
2. The Dutch disease and deindustrialization
3. Growth and the institutional resource curse
4. Empirical evidence on the resource curse
5. Resource rents and violent internal conflict
6. Managing resource rents
7. Concluding comments
Appendix 1: Growth collapse from rent seeking
Apprendix 2: A model of civil war with greed and grievances

Author Information

Syed Mansoob Murshed is Professor of the Economics of Peace and Conflict at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and Professor of Economics at Coventry University in the UK.

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