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Natural resources and human development: Evidence from mineral-dependent African countries using exploratory graphical analysis

Claudia Pérez and Oscar Claveria ()

Resources Policy, 2020, vol. 65, issue C

Abstract: In this study, we propose a new approach for the visual inspection of interactions between human development and economic growth and a set of variables that reflect the dependence of mineral resources. We focus on the ten African countries with the highest share of mineral exports compared to total exports in the period from 2007 to 2016. First, we provide a descriptive analysis and we rank the countries according to their average annual growth in relation to a set of proxies of resource dependence and economic indicators during the sample period. Second, we cluster the different states by means of a dimensionality-reduction technique that enabled synthesising the information in the rankings into two factors: (a) economic growth and human development, and (b) growth in mineral resource dependence. Finally, we project all countries into a perceptual map and observe four clusters that roughly correspond to the main African regions, and whose distribution shows a slightly negative slope (indicative of a weak inverse relationship between mineral dependence and development). Regarding the interactions among variables, we observe a tenuous negative association between average growth in human development and the relative weight of mineral rents. These results, coupled with the fact that the average growth in resource rents does not materialise in higher economic growth, indicate that corruption may be impeding economic development, especially if it is understood under a more inclusive perspective that incorporates health and education. This finding underscores the need to promote institutional quality and to develop a mining strategy to help revert the effects of the resource curse in mineral-dependent African countries. Accordingly, we propose a series of policy measures based on four main objectives: competitiveness, transparency, sustainability and inclusiveness.

Keywords: Resource curse; Economic growth; Human development; Mining; Multivariate analysis; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C38 O13 O15 Q32 O55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2019.101535

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