Resource Endowments and Economic Development in Central Africa

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Many resource abundant nations have experienced lower than average economic growth over the past 50 years. The resource curse, as it is named, has widely been accepted among development theorists. While the curse affects many developing nations, it is nowhere more prevalent than in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An economy largely built on the foundation of mineral abundance, the DRC has been plagued with poor growth and extremely high civil conflict rates. Using the DRC, I first consider the literature surrounding the resource curse and examine the theorized mechanisms within the curse model. With these mechanisms in mind, I then propose new data to better understand the relationship between poor outcomes in regions with high mineral content. This study utilizes data on mineral specific mine location as well as conflict location within the DRC. The exogenous variable price, when used in conjunction with the DRC specific spatial data, will help better define the underlying mechanisms of the resource curse by revealing the effects of price on conflict given mineral type and location.


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