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Exploiting a natural resource in a poor country: The good, the bad and the ugly sides of the Kyrgyz Republic’s gold mine

Richard Pomfret

No 372, Working Papers from Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies)

Abstract: What is required for a poor country to turn a valuable resource endowment into a driver of development? The resource curse literature highlighted the importance of institutions and the nature of the resource, neither of which is a useful policy guide. A more recent literature views resource exploitation as a series of hurdles that must be negotiated: ensuring production, dividing revenues, and using the added public finance. The Kyrgyz Republic’s Kumtor gold mine is a useful case study in that the country cleared the first hurdle but over almost a quarter century was embroiled in negotiating the second hurdle. The paper assesses the extent to which such problems are inevitable for a small poor country, and the consequences of an extended conflictual process.

Keywords: Resource curse; minerals; Kyrgyzstan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q32 O53 L72 N55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-env and nep-his
Date: 2018-05
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