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Journal ArticleDOI

On the looting of nations

01 Sep 2011-Public Choice (Springer US)-Vol. 148, Iss: 3, pp 353-380

AbstractWe develop a dynamic discrete choice model of an unchecked ruler making decisions regarding the development of a resource rich country. Resources serve as collateral and facilitate the acquisition of loans. The ruler chooses either to stay in power while facing the risk of being ousted, or loot the country’s riches by liquefying the resources through lending. We show that unstructured lending from international credit markets can create incentives to loot the country; and an enhanced likelihood of looting causes greater political instability, and diminishes growth. Using a treatment effects model, we find evidence that supports our predictions.

Topics: Looting (56%), Collateral (52%)

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01 Jan 1906

554 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of major natural resource discoveries since 1950 on GDP per capita. Using panel fixed-effects estimation and resource discoveries in countries that were not previously resource-rich as a plausibly exogenous source of variation, I find a positive effect on GDP per capita levels following resource exploitation that persists in the long term. Results vary significantly between OECD and non-OECD treatment countries, with effects concentrated within the non-OECD group. I further test GDP effects with synthetic control analysis on each individual treated country, yielding results consistent with the average effects found with the fixed-effects model.

173 citations


Cites background from "On the looting of nations"

  • ...Another form treats institutions as exogenous to resource wealth, and the interaction between resources and institutions explains the divergent outcomes of resource-rich countries (Robinson et al 2006, Mehlum et al 2006, Sarr et al 2011)....

    [...]


01 Mar 2008
Abstract: 본 논문은 자원부국들의 천연자원 수출이 각기 다른 경제적 영향을 보이는 이유에 대해 연구하였다. 가령 라틴아메리카의 경우 다른 자원부국들과는 달리 저조한 경제성장을 보였다. 이에 대해 선행연구에서는 천연자원의 풍요가 오히려 경제성장에 부정적인 영향을 준다고 논증한 바 있다. 그러나 본 연구에서는 1인당 국민소득이 어느 수준 이상일 경우 천연자원 수출과 경제성장 간의 역의 상관관계가 존재하지 않음을 보이고 있다. 분석에 따르면, 1인당 국민소득이 낮은 라틴아메리카 국가들의 경우 풍부한 천연자원이 경제성장에 부정적인 영향을 미치는 반면, 1인당 국민소득이 높은 선진국의 경우 이러한 음의 효과가 나타나지 않았다. 이같이 천연자원 수출이 자원부국들 간 서로 다른 영향을 보인 이유는, 정부의 효율성, 법치, 부패통제 등 ‘제도의 질’이 낮은 라틴아메리카의 경우 천연자원 수출로 얻은 자원을 비효율적으로 활용하여 인적·물적 자원을 축적하지 못했으며, 이로 인해 궁극적으로 저조한 경제성장을 이루게 되었다는 데 있다.

96 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of military expenditure on economic growth on a large balanced panel, using an exogenous growth model and dynamic panel data methods for 106 countries over the period 1988–2010 A major focus of the paper is to consider the possibility group heterogeneity and non-linearity Having estimated the model for all of the countries in the panel and finding that military burden has a negative effect on growth in the short and long run, the panel is broken down into various groupings based upon a range of potentially relevant factors, and the robustness of the results is evaluated The factors considered are different levels of income, conflict experience, natural resources abundance, openness and aid The estimates for the different groups are remarkably consistent with those for the whole panel, providing strong support for the argument that military spending has adverse effects on growth There are, however, some intriguing results that suggest that for certain types of countries

94 citations



References
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Posted ContentDOI
Abstract: According to basic economics, if demand exceeds supply, prices will rise, thus decreasing demand or increasing supply until demand and supply are in equilibrium; thus if prices do their job, rationing will not exist. However, credit rationing does exist. This paper demonstrates that even in equilibrium, credit rationing will exist in a loan market. Credit rationing is defined as occurring either (a) among loan applicants who appear identical, and some do and do not receive loans, even though the rejected applicants would pay higher interest rates; or (b) there are groups who, with a given credit supply, cannot obtain loans at any rate, even though with larger credit supply they would. A model is developed to provide the first theoretical justification for true credit rationing. The amount of the loan and the amount of collateral demanded affect the behavior and distribution of borrowers. Consequently, faced with increased credit demand, it may not be profitable to raise interest rates or collateral; instead banks deny loans to borrowers who are observationally indistinguishable from those receiving loans. It is not argued that credit rationing always occurs, but that it occurs under plausible assumptions about lender and borrower behavior. In the model, interest rates serve as screening devices for evaluating risk. Interest rates change the behavior (serve as incentive mechanism) for the borrower, increasing the relative attractiveness of riskier projects; banks ration credit, rather than increase rates when there is excess demand. Banks are shown not to increase collateral as a means of allocating credit; although collateral may have incentivizing effects, it may have adverse selection effects. Equity, nonlinear payment schedules, and contingency contracts may be introduced and yet there still may be rationing. The law of supply and demand is thus a result generated by specific assumptions and is model specific; credit rationing does exist. (TNM)

12,719 citations


"On the looting of nations" refers background in this paper

  • ...Banks recognise that adverse selection can result from price-based lending and so limit lending levels instead (Stiglitz and Weiss 1981)....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Output per worker varies enormously across countries. Why? On an accounting basis, our analysis shows that differences in physical capital and educational attainment can only partially explain the variation in output per worker--we find a large amount of variation in the level of the Solow residual across countries. At a deeper level, we document that the differences in capital accumulation, productivity, and therefore output per worker are driven by differences in institutions and government policies, which we call social infrastructure. We treat social infrastructure as endogenous, determined historically by location and other factors captured in part by language.

6,942 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson, henceforth AJR, (2001), we advanced the hypothesis that the mortality rates faced by Europeans in different parts of the world after 1500 affected their willingness to establish settlements and choice of colonization strategy. Places that were relatively healthy (for Europeans) were—when they fell under European control—more likely to receive better economic and political institutions. In contrast, places where European settlers were less likely to go were more likely to have “extractive” institutions imposed. We also posited that this early pattern of institutions has persisted over time and influences the extent and nature of institutions in the modern world. On this basis, we proposed using estimates of potential European settler mortality as an instrument for institutional variation in former European colonies today. Data on settlers themselves are unfortunately patchy—particularly because not many went to places they believed, with good reason, to be most unhealthy. We therefore followed the lead of Curtin (1989 and 1998) who compiled data on the death rates faced by European soldiers in various overseas postings. 1 Curtin’s data were based on pathbreaking data collection and statistical work initiated by the British military in the mid-nineteenth century. These data became part of the foundation of both contemporary thinking about public health (for soldiers and for civilians) and the life insurance industry (as actuaries and executives considered the

6,467 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Output per worker varies enormously across countries. Why? On an accounting basis our analysis shows that differences in physical capital and educational attainment can only partially explain the variation in output per worker—we find a large amount of variation in the level of the Solow residual across countries. At a deeper level, we document that the differences in capital accumulation, productivity, and therefore output per worker are driven by differences in institutions and government policies, which we call social infrastructure. We treat social infrastructure as endogenous, determined historically by location and other factors captured in part by language. In 1988 output per worker in the United States was more than 35 times higher than output per worker in Niger. In just over ten days the average worker in the United States produced as much as an average worker in Niger produced in an entire year. Explaining such vast differences in economic performance is one of the fundamental challenges of economics. Analysis based on an aggregate production function provides some insight into these differences, an approach taken by Mankiw, Romer, and Weil [1992] and Dougherty and Jorgenson [1996], among others. Differences among countries can be attributed to differences in human capital, physical capital, and productivity. Building on their analysis, our results suggest that differences in each element of the production function are important. In particular, however, our results emphasize the key role played by productivity. For example, consider the 35-fold difference in output per worker between the United States and Niger. Different capital intensities in the two countries contributed a factor of 1.5 to the income differences, while different levels of educational attainment contributed a factor of 3.1. The remaining difference—a factor of 7.7—remains as the productivity residual. * A previous version of this paper was circulated under the title ‘‘The Productivity of Nations.’’ This research was supported by the Center for Economic Policy Research at Stanford and by the National Science Foundation under grants SBR-9410039 (Hall) and SBR-9510916 (Jones) and is part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s program on Economic Fluctuations and Growth. We thank Bobby Sinclair for excellent research assistance and colleagues too numerous to list for an outpouring of helpful commentary. Data used in the paper are available online from http://www.stanford.edu/,chadj.

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: An influential conventional wisdom holds that civil wars proliferated rapidly with the end of the Cold War and that the root cause of many or most of these has been ethnic and religious antagonisms. We show that the current prevalence of internal war is mainly the result of a steady accumulation of protracted conflicts since the 1950s and 1960s rather than a sudden change associated with a new, post-Cold War international system. We also find that after controlling for per capita income, more ethnically or religiously diverse countries have been no more likely to experience significant civil violence in this period. We argue for understanding civil war in this period in terms of insurgency or rural guerrilla warfare, a particular form of military practice that can be harnessed to diverse political agendas. The factors that explain which countries have been at risk for civil war are not their ethnic or religious characteristics but rather the conditions that favor insurgency. These include poverty—which marks financially and bureaucratically weak states and also favors rebel recruitment—political instability, rough terrain, and large populations.We wish to thank the many people who provided comments on earlier versions of this paper in a series of seminar presentations. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (Grants SES-9876477 and SES-9876530); support from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences with funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; valuable research assistance from Ebru Erdem, Nikolay Marinov, Quinn Mecham, David Patel, and TQ Shang; sharing of data by Paul Collier.

5,660 citations