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Does the Natural Resource Curse Exist for Electricity Exports in African Nations?

Devin L. Long, Craig D. Broadbent


Since the mid-1990s researchers have been trying to explain why countries blessed with large endowments of natural resources experience lower rates of economic growth, termed the natural resource curse. While many empirical studies investigate if the curse exists for minerals, oil, and natural gas, we examine the effects electricity exports have on the quality of life in25 African nations. As electricity is derived from natural resources, its export could bring substantial revenues into an economy and, if mismanaged, a natural resource curse could arise. Results demonstrate that electricity exporting nationsare not prone to a resource curse; however, nations with large oil deposits are prone to the curse.


Natural Resource Curse, Dutch Disease, Nigerian Disease, Electricity

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