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Oil Is Not a Curse: Ownership Structure and Institutions in Soviet Successor States (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) Paperback – August 23, 2010

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Oil Is Not a Curse: Ownership Structure and Institutions in Soviet Successor States (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) + Escaping the Resource Curse (Initiative for Policy Dialogue) + The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics
  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521148081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521148085
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Do oil booms inevitably lead countries down a path of rentierism, authoritarianism, and laggard economic growth? Read this fascinating book about the Soviet successor states and find out why the effects of oil vary based on who owns it-the state, or the private sector."
-Stephen Haber, Stanford University

"Pauline Jones Luong and Erika Weinthal have made a valuable contribution to the resource curse literature. Their book's focus on the significance of ownership structure in determining whether resource abundance is a boon or a curse is novel, well-argued and supported empirically by a nice natural experiment. In addition, the book provides an accessible review of the oil and gas sector in the energy-rich Soviet successor states over the two decades since independence."
-Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide; Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center

"A fundamental premise of political economy is that the consequences of factor endowments for policy and prosperity are conditional on the nature of the political equilibrium in society. Using parsimonious theory, case studies, and econometric tests, this book brilliantly uses this perspective to demolish the confusions of the resource curse literature, showing how politics shapes the ownership structure of the oil sector which in turn determines the impact of oil."
-James Robinson, Harvard University

Book Description

The conventional wisdom is that petroleum-rich countries in the developing world are cursed: destined, because of their wealth, to suffer from poor economic performance, unbalanced growth, weak states, and authoritarian regimes. We argue instead that these outcomes are linked to the ownership structure that petroleum-rich states choose to manage their wealth. Ownership structure is the first and most important choice that petroleum-rich states make because it shapes incentives for subsequent institution building: in particular, fiscal regimes.

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The authors do a really good job at building a model of government behavior in the presence of abundant natural resources. The conclusions are startling and concentrate on the former Soviet Union. However they show empirical work from more countries and this is quite useful. It is unfortunate their analysis stops at 2005 especially as Russia changed behavior in the oil market at about that time.
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Oil Is Not a Curse: Ownership Structure and Institutions in Soviet Successor States (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)
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