Why some countries are immune from the resource curse: The role of economic norms

S. Erdem Aytaç, Michael Mousseau, Ömer Faruk Örsün
2014 Democratization  
The political resource curse -the detrimental effect of natural resource dependence on democracy -is a well-established correlate of authoritarianism. A long-standing puzzle, however, is why some countries seem to be immune from it. We address this issue systematically by distinguishing two kinds of economies: contract-intensive, where individuals normally obtain their incomes in the marketplace; and clientelist, where individuals normally obtain their incomes in groups that compete over state
more » ... compete over state rents. We theorize that the institutionalized patronage opportunities in clientelist economies are an important precondition for the resource curse, and that nations with contract-intensive economies are immune from it. Analysis of 150 countries from 1973 to 2000 yields robust support for this view. By introducing clientelist economy as a prerequisite for the resource curse, this study offers an important advance in understanding how nations democratize.
doi:10.1080/13510347.2014.964216 fatcat:ly3uhou7nnbzpioysvamtvicku