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Resource rents and happiness on a global perspective: The resource curse revisited

Mignamissi, Dieudonné and Kuete, Flora Yselle (2020): Resource rents and happiness on a global perspective: The resource curse revisited.

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Abstract

We revisit resource curse theory by providing empirical evidence for the effects of natural resource on the subjective wellbeing. Using cross-sectional model based on a global sample of 149 countries, we highlight that resources rents tend to reduce happiness but this effect differs according to (i) the political system and the level of development, (ii) the types and the measures of natural resources and (iii) the scale of happiness. Specifically, the negative effect of natural resources on happiness tends to be amplified in developing and weak democracy countries. Furthermore, the disaggregation of natural resource rents show that while oil rents and natural gas rent have a significant negative effect, forest, coal and mineral rents do not. However, after using the quantile regression approach, we find that these effects vary at different intervals throughout the happiness distribution.

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