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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A New Perspective on the Resource Curse

December 12, 2019

Kuala Lumpur World Bank-University of Malaya Joint Seminar

  • Military expenditures significantly affect the relationship between the risk of civil conflict outbreak and natural resources. We show that a significant positive correlation between the risk of civil conflict outbreak and resource rents is limited to countries with low military expenditure shares. In countries with high military expenditure shares there is no significant relationship between the risk of civil conflict outbreak and rents from natural resources. These findings hold in particular for the Middle East and Africa; are driven mainly by oil rents; and hold if one focuses exclusively on plausibly exogenous commodity price shocks. An important message is, thus, that a conflict resource curse is absent in countries with sufficiently large military expenditures. However, there is a trade-off: the larger military expenditures, the smaller is the effect that natural resource rents have on economic growth and democracy.

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  • Markus Brueckner is Professor in the Research School of Economics of the Australian National University and a visiting scholar at the World Bank’s research hub in Kuala Lumpur. Markus has broad research interests in macroeconomics. His main research field is economic growth and development.


  • WHEN: Thursday, December 12, 2019; 12:30 -2:00PM
  • WHERE: DK4, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya
  • RSVP: Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, December 11, 2019