The social development effects of primary commodity export dependence
On the question of whether natural resources are a curse for growth, the jury is still out. While waiting for a decision, we study whether resource intensity has any effect on social development over and above the effect it might have on income or growth. We measure social development by a combination of health and education outcomes and resource intensity by the share of primary commodities in total merchandise exports. We find that, after controlling for per-capita income and other macroeconomic and institutional factors, a higher dependence on primary commodity exports is negative for social development. The transmission mechanism seems to operate via income inequality and macroeconomic volatility.
Economic Development and Growth
Panel Data Analysis
Environment and Resource Economics