September, 2007

Mining Institutional Quality

How Botswana Escaped the Natural Resource Curse
  • Scott Beaulier

    Academic Dean, College of Business at North Dakota State University
  • J. Robert Subrick

    Associate Professor of Economics, James Madison University
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The natural resource curse has achieved the status of a stylized fact within development economics (Auty 1990; Gelb 1998; Sachs and Warner 1995, 1999, 2001). While the resource curse argument rests on sound economic logic, there are outliers that require explanation. To date, the case of Botswana has been treated as an interesting anomaly worthy of footnote in much of the resource curse literature. The story of Botswana helps development economists and policymakers understand how an institutional weak country can develop in the presence of significant natural resources.

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