One of a series of 13 briefs exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the policies advocated in Paul Collier's controversial and influential book 'The Bottom Billion'.
Natural resources discovered in poor countries can increase poverty. Paul Collier finds that about 29 per cent of the Bottom Billion live in countries abundant with natural resources. He argues that the net proceeds from their export have political effects that undermine economic growth. While this 'resource curse' is well substantiated, Collier downplays how the negative political effects of these resources are also linked to their geostrategic importance, their coexistence with national debt, and the realities of their extraction.
IDS In Focus Issue 3.5, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 4 pp.