Go broad or go home: A theoretical and empirical expansion of the institutional resource curse

Research project
Inactive research
Project size
Project period
2018 - 2019
Project owner
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg & Department of Political Science, Duke University

Short description

A research project employing the logic of the institutional resource curse on hitherto unexplored areas, like tourism

This project aims to fill important knowledge gaps in the Institutional Resource Curse Theory (IRCT), which claims that reliance on certain natural resources causes deterioration in institutional quality, in the shape of increased corruption and lowered bureaucratic capacity. Although research on the IRCT has been successful in explaining institutional failure in developing states and regions rich in fuel and minerals, its theoretical foundation remains particularistic and heavily focused on the oil and mineral industries. Still, the causal mechanisms inherent to the theory are applicable in a much broader range of sectors and in settings hitherto not associated with any type of resource curses, particularly advanced economies. This project will thus take a broad and systematic approach to how variation in economic structure and public finance impacts institutional quality. This will in turn allow for an expansion of both the theoretical and the empirical scope of IRCT, generating a more generalizable theoretical model of economic curses and blessings. This initial theory building work will inform comparative analysis using novel datasets on institutional quality in European regions and Swedish municipalities. The project was partly hosted by the Department of Political Science at Duke University.