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A tale of two curses : the economic, political, and developmental effects of dependency on foreign aid and natural resources Thomas, Edward


This paper provides a first look at the intersection between the natural resource and foreign aid curses. In doing so, it proposes that the economic, political, and developmental effects of foreign aid and natural resources are influenced by similar factors. While to date much of the literature on the aid and resource curses have tended not to engage one another, it is shown that through a political economy model of political survival, important commonalities can be drawn out with respect to the cause and effect of both curses. Accordingly, this paper argues for the necessity of no longer studying the two phenomena in isolation, and instead presents a common theoretical model allowing for a unified approach to understanding the implications of unearned income. A preliminary quantitative analysis is also presented, which suggests at the effects of foreign aid in natural resource-dependent countries. Important implications not only for academic research, but also importantly for policy making, follow from the findings herein.

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