Resource Curse

Definition of 'Resource Curse'


A paradoxical situation in which countries with an abundance of non-renewable resources experience stagnant growth or even economic contraction. The resource curse occurs as a country begins to focus all of its energies on a single industry, such as mining, and neglects other major sectors.

As a result, the nation becomes overly dependent on the price of commodities, and overall gross domestic product becomes extremely volatile. Additionally, government corruption often results when proper resource rights and an income distribution framework is not established in the society, resulting in unfair regulation of the industry. The resource curse is most often witnessed in emerging markets following a major natural resource discovery.

Also known as the "paradox of plenty".

Investopedia explains 'Resource Curse'


A commonly cited example of the resource curse is the Dutch disease, a situation which occurred in the Netherlands following a large natural gas find. The steps of the Dutch disease include:
1. A nation finds ample natural resource reserves
2. Economic focus begins to target this high-income industry
3. Skilled workers from other sectors transfer to the resource sector
4. Higher wages make the national currency less competitive
5. Other industries, especially the manufacturing sector, begin to suffer

Both, the Dutch disease and the resource curse have a paradoxical impact on the overall economy following the discovery of large natural resource reserves.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying a company's shares outstanding by the current market price of one share. The investment community uses this figure to determine a company's size, as opposed to sales or total asset figures.
  2. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  3. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  4. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  5. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  6. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
Trading Center