Ethnic Diversity, Property Rights and Natural Resources
Countries rich in natural resources constitute both development failures and successes depending on their underlying socioeconomic fundamentals. Recent empirical evidence and theoretical work provide support for a resource-curse hypothesis based on ethnic fractionalization. There is also increasing empirical evidence suggesting that ethnic heterogeneity based on polarization is a strong deterrent of economic growth. In this paper, we explore the interlinkages between natural resource abundance and both measures of ethnic heterogeneity. In a two–simultaneous equation system, we assess the effects of fractionalization and polarization on property-rights protection, and thereby on growth, both directly as well as in interaction with our resource-abundance proxy. We find that ethnic polarization is more likely to have a direct negative impact on the effectiveness of property rights in a resource-rich context, which as we explain may suggest that different ethnic groups treat the contestable resource base as a semi-public good.
Baggio, J.A., & Papyrakis, E. (2010). Ethnic Diversity, Property Rights and Natural Resources. The Developing Economies, 48(4), 473-495.