Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Can more be less? An experimental test of the resource curse

Al-Ubaydli, Omar and McCabe, Kevin and Twieg, Peter (2014): Can more be less? An experimental test of the resource curse.

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Abstract

Several scholars have argued that abundant natural resources can be harmful to economic performance under bad institutions and helpful when institutions are good. These arguments have either been theoretical or based on naturally-occurring variation in natural resource wealth. We test this theory using a laboratory experiment to reap the benefits of randomized control. We conduct this experiment in a virtual world (Second LifeTM) to make institutions more visceral. We find support for the theory.

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