The resource curse without natural resources: expectations of resource booms and their impact

Frynas, Jedrzej George, Wood, Geoffrey and Hinks, Timothy (2017) The resource curse without natural resources: expectations of resource booms and their impact. African Affairs, 116 (463) . pp. 233-260. ISSN 0001-9909 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1093/afraf/adx001)

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Many resource rich countries have experienced a range of negative economic and political effects from natural resource extraction, often lumped together as the ‘resource curse’. This article investigates to what extent future expectations of natural resource booms in São Tomé e Príncipe and Madagascar led to ‘resource curse’ effects even though these countries did not experience the expected natural resource booms. It finds that both countries did experience resource curse effects as a result of future expectations, including volatile economic growth and deteriorated governance. The article demonstrates that shared aspirations and expectations alone may make for material political and economic outcomes even when they become visibly divorced from reality. Thus, there is much more to resource curse effects than simply the product of the material extraction of natural endowments. At a time of extremely volatile prices for primary commodities, and the relatively easy availability of investment capital and credit to support speculative ventures that in turn incentivize resource hype, it is likely that a growing number of countries may suffer the malign effects of a resource curse without natural resource extraction.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published version: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs licence (
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation
Item ID: 21063
Notes on copyright: Final accepted version (with author formatting): This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in African Affairs following peer review. The version of record Jedrzej George Frynas, Geoffrey Wood, Timothy Hinks; The resource curse without natural resources: Expectations of resource booms and their impact. Afr Aff (Lond) 2017 1-28. doi: 10.1093/afraf/adx001 is available online at:
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Depositing User: George Frynas
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 11:38
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 19:36

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