, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 183-207
Date: 27 Aug 2008

Rule of Law and the Resource Curse: Abundance Versus Intensity

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Abstract

We examine the ‘resource curse’ using new data on historic resource stocks and an improved econometric methodology. The paper distinguishes between resource abundance (stocks) and extractive intensity (flows), focusing on relationships between resources and rule of law. Previously unavailable information on past resource stocks is estimated. We find that economically large initial natural resource stocks are associated with subsequent lower levels of rule of law and do not directly affect growth, while raw resource exports do not have a significant effect on rule of law when stocks are included in the analysis but do affect average growth rates. Sample size is maximized through the use of an EMis (expectation maximization with importance sampling) algorithm to replace missing data, minimizing the bias and inefficiency associated with listwise deletion, which commonly eliminates half or more of the available data in this setting.

An earlier version of this work appeared as part of my doctoral dissertation in economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Thanks are due to my dissertation committee: Robert T. Deacon, Stephen J. DeCanio and Carol McAusland; as well as Okan Kavuncu, Henning Bohn, Kelly Bedard, Olivier Deschennes, Doug Steigerwald and numerous seminar participants as well as two anonymous referees.