Resource Curse: Oil, Minerals and the Development of Nations

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Tuesday 13:15 - 14:45
Preliminary requirements: 

Background knowledge in macroeconomics and international economics would be an asset

Course Description: 
  1. Introduction and film screening, background readings, course organisation, presentation topics.
  2. Preparation of consecutive parts of the project (supplemented with class presentation), namely: resource, its features and extraction technology,  historical context and start of production, role of the resource in national economy, political background and  regulatory framework, structure of the industry. 
  3. Grades, summing up.
Aims of the course: 

Student names costs and benefits related to natural resources extraction.

Student explains political and economic mechanisms of the so-called  resource curse.  

Student defines strategies and tools employed in natural resources management by developing countries.

Student presents case studies, success and failure stories of natural resources driven development.


Student identifies threats of natural resources extraction in a particular economic and political context.

Student assesses effectiveness of resources policy and regulatory frameworks adopted in various developing countries. 

Student analyses negative effects of natural resources exploration and production.  

Student describes international factors determining the impact of natural resources on development.


Student is able to critically asses resources policy in particular countries.

Student, using a class discussion, verifies his/her own opinions concerning the role of natural resources in development. 

Student is able to discuss prospects of new discoveries of natural resources.

Student acquires skills needed to adopt social mechanisms of accountability with regards to natural resources rents management.

Teaching methods: 

Individual/group projects, assigned readings, case studies, multimedia presentation.  

Evaluation & Completion: 

Preparation of individual/group projects + class presentation (approx. 30 minutes).  

Basic Literature: 

Auty, R.M., (red.), Resource Abundance and Economic Development, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Humpreys, M., Sachs, J.D., Stiglitz, J.E. (red.), Escaping the resource curse, Columbia University Press, New York 2007.

Karl, T.L., The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (Studies in International Political Economy),  University of California Press 1997.

Additional Literature: 

Asher, W., Why Governments Waste Natural Resources: Policy Failures in Developing Countries, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Camus, J.P., Management of Mineral Resources: Creating Value in the Mining Business, Society for Mining Metallurgy & Exploration, 2002.

Dunning, T., Crude Democracy: Natural Resource Wealth and Political Regimes (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics), Cambridge University Press 2008.  

Field, B.C., Natural Resource Economics: An Introduction, McGraw-Hill, Boston 2001.

Lederman, D., Maloney, W.F., Natural Resources, Neither Curse Nor Destiny, Stanford Economics and Finance, 2006.

Mayer, J., Chambers, B., Farooq, A. (red.), Development Policies In Natural Resource Economies, Edward Elgar Publishing, 1999.

Ross, M.L., The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations Hardcover, Princeton University Press 2012.