The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations by Michael L. Ross
Countries that are rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability, and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil. What explains this oil curse? And can it be fixed? In this groundbreaking analysis, Michael L. Ross looks at how developing nations are shaped by their mineral wealthand how they can turn oil from a curse into a blessing.
Ross traces the oil curse to the upheaval of the 1970s, when oil prices soared and governments across the developing world seized control of their countries' oil industries. Before nationalization, the oil-rich countries looked much like the rest of the world; today, they are 50 percent more likely to be ruled by autocratsand twice as likely to descend into civil warthan countries without oil.
The Oil Curse shows why oil wealth typically creates less economic growth than it should; why it produces jobs for men but not women; and why it creates more problems in poor states than in rich ones. It also warns that the global thirst for petroleum is causing companies to drill in increasingly poor nations, which could further spread the oil curse.
This landmark book explains why good geology often leads to bad governance, and how this can be changed.
Michael L. Ross is professor of political science and director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has published widely on the politics of resource-rich countries and served on advisory boards for the World Bank, the Revenue Watch Institute, and the Natural Resource Charter. His work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times, and has been featured in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and many other publications. In 2009, he received the Heinz Eulau Award from the American Political Science Association.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Tables xi
Country Abbreviations xix
Chapter One: The Paradoxical Wealth of Nations 1
Appendix 1.1 A Note on Methods and Measurements 14
Chapter Two: The Trouble with Oil Revenues 27
Chapter Three: More Petroleum, Less Democracy 63
Appendix 3.1 A Statistical Analysis of Oil and Democracy 93
The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Not many academics can write as clearly and convincingly at Michael Ross in The Oil Curse. After describing the controversy in chapters one and two, Ross focuses on three aspects of petroleum's impact: its relation to democracy, oil and women's role, and whether oil wealth leads to more violence. These three chapters have technical appendices, which delve into the statistical aspects that will only be of interest to academics like myself. There is no better book available on the market. Economists and political scientists should read Ross's book and use it in their courses.
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