It is widely believed that natural mineral resources are desirable. However there is growing evidence that this may not always be the case. Indeed, it seems that natural assets can distort the economy to such a degree that the benefit actually becomes a curse.
In Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies, Richard Auty highlights these drawbacks and the devastating effect they can have on developing economies. With reference to six ore-exporters (viz. Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Zambia and Papua New Guinea) he outlines how things can go badly wrong. He particularly stresses the need to avoid `Dutch Disease' whereby competitiveness is drained out of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors so that in the long term growth falters.
`… a most welcome contribution to the applied economic geography of developing countries.' - Dr Robert Gwynne, University of Birmingham