Is there a resource curse?
Economic explanations for a resource curse
Political explanations for the resource curse
Other directions: Parastatals and property rights
@Much of the variance between resource and nonresource exporters can almost certainly be tied to international economic factors, including a decline in the terms of trade for primary commodities and the instability of commodity markets. We still know little, however, about the politics of the resource curse - why resource-exporting governments respond perversely or ineffectively to these and other hardships. Over the past two decades, the gap has widened between our understanding of the economics and our understanding of the politics of resource exporters.
@The disparity between strong cumulative findings on economic questions and weak noncumulative findings on political questions is partly due to failure of political scientists to test their own hypotheses. The dearth of hypothesis testing in political science may reflect the high costs of doing primary research in the developing world; it may also reflect the peculiar incentives of the subfield of comparative development, which tends to reward the production of gnewh theories but to disdain the testing of existing ones. Whatever its source, the absence of hypothesis testing has hindered the contributions of political science to the study of the resource curse. More subtly, it has enabled political scientists to produce theories that are unworkably vague. In recent years, the field of comparative politics has shown greater concern for methodological rigor. This review underscores the importance of this new trend.
@Twenty-seven of the thirty-six states in the World Bank's most troubled category - severely indebted low-income countries - are primary commodity exporters. For these and scores of other states, insights into the sources of the resource curse could have far-reaching consequences. Further progress will depend, in part, on the ability of political scientists to test their hypotheses with greater methodological care; on their willingness to place their theories in testable form, even when they cannot be tested; and on the proclivity of both economists and political scientists to pay closer attention to each others' contributions.x