The Resource Curse - A Natural Experiment

21 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Andreas Zenthöfer

Andreas Zenthöfer

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

Date Written: March 14, 2011


This paper compares Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago which have a very similar climate, history, institutional framework, ethnic composition, size, etc., but are different in the natural resources they possess. Trinidad and Tobago has achieved a higher per capita GDP based on its petrodollars, but Mauritius has achieved a more robust and stable growth path and a diversified economy based on an export-oriented economic strategy. Trinidad and Tobago is highly dependent on the world market prices for oil and gas and engages in a smaller variety of economic activities, giving it a worse perspective for its future economic development. It appears that this curse is mainly working through Dutch disease effects.

Keywords: Resource Curse, Dutch Disease, Natural Experiment, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago

JEL Classification: N56, N57, Q32

Suggested Citation

Zenthöfer, Andreas, The Resource Curse - A Natural Experiment (March 14, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-028, Available at SSRN: or

Andreas Zenthöfer (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE


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