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Journal Articles World Development Year : 2017

The Paradox of Plenty: A Meta-Analysis


Since Sachs and Warner’s seminal article in 1995, numerous studies have addressed the link between natural resources and economic growth. Although the “resource curse” effect was commonly accepted at first, many articles have challenged its existence, and the results found in the literature are ambiguous. In this paper, we aim to quantitatively review this literature in order to (i) identify the sources of heterogeneity and (ii) assess the impact of natural resources on economic growth. A meta-analysis is performed on 69 empirical studies on the resource curse, totaling 1,419 estimates. Our findings show that (i) only developing countries suffer from the resource curse although it is soft; (ii) the way natural resources are taken into account is crucial to understand the heterogeneity found in the literature; (iii) the negative impact of the volatility of the terms-of-trade on growth should be qualified. An additional MRA performed on indirect effects size also indicate that when institutions are at their best level, the resource curse disappears and may be turned into a blessing.

Dates and versions

hal-03399749 , version 1 (24-10-2021)



Magali Dauvin, David, Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien Guerreiro. The Paradox of Plenty: A Meta-Analysis. World Development, 2017, 94 (C), pp.212 - 231. ⟨10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.01.009⟩. ⟨hal-03399749⟩
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