Is the 'natural resource curse' destiny? Are different ways to link natural resources and economic development? Using two particular regions as case studies, this edited collection examines the divergent development paths of natural resource-rich countries over the past two centuries. Bolivia, Chile and Peru are neighbour states with a common history and are globally known for their mining endowments. Norway and Sweden have also a strong common history, and different natural resource endowments (forestry, mining and fishing) are essential to understand their current economic success. By comparing natural resource management in the long run in these two divergent regions, this book can help rethink how developing countries can better take advantage of their natural resource endowments. Specifically, the book examines the interaction between natural resources and different key determinants of long-term development: trade, fiscal policy, sustainability, human capital accumulation and business strategies.
Cristián Ducoing is a researcher at the Department of Economic History at Lund University. He obtained a Degree in History from the University of Chile and completed his PhD in Economic History at the University of Barcelona (2012). He has worked as a researcher and teacher at the University Pompeu Fabra, the University of Valparaiso and Umeå University. His areas of work are natural resources and development, historical national accounts and sustainability. His research has been published in Scandinavian Economic History Research, Sustainability, and Australian Economic History Review, among other international journals. He has co-authored more than 10 book chapters and has obtained funding from public and private research funding bodies.
José Peres-Cajías is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economic History, Institutions, Politics and World Economy. He holds a PhD (Cum Laude) in Economic History from the University of Barcelona (2013). His research aims at understanding the long-term economic development of developing regions by looking at the interplay of institutions, natural resources and trade. He published different articles in international journals including Cliometrica, Economics and Human Biology, Journal of Latin American Studies, Sustainability, Revista de Historia Económica, and Economic History of Developing Regions. He also contributed to several chapters of books published by Palgrave, Routledge, Springer and Fondo de Cultura Económica. One of his articles was awarded "best article published in international journals" by the Spanish Association of Economic History.
"Does the possession of natural resources mean that a society will stagnate? Are they 'cursed' to remain behind? This is a commonplace idea, but some of the wealthiest economies in the world – such as the Nordic countries, Australia and Canada – are resource based. Why, therefore, are some resource economies wealthy, and some not? The best way to answer this is through careful comparative research, but such studies are very rare. By exploring Andean and Nordic experiences with natural resources, this book is a breakthrough. It takes the analysis of resources and growth to a new level."
– Kristine Bruland, University of Oslo, Norway
"Natural resource dependence has been seen as a kind of curse in Latin American economic history vs. a great asset in the story of several developed countries. This book makes a very interesting comparison of the economic histories of Andean and Scandinavian countries to understand why they show contrasting development patterns. It looks at the ability to increase and diversify exports, to build strong technological capacities, to develop broad-based tax systems to avoid environmental degradation as key issues in the story of Scandinavia. This contrasts to the diverse story of the Andean countries, which have been less successful in several of these tasks. It makes an important contribution to comparative economic history and to our understanding of economic development."
– José Antonio Ocampo, Columbia University, USA