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Cursed Resources? Political Conditions and Oil Market Outcomes

Gilbert E. Metcalf and Catherine Wolfram

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.3.gmet
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Abstract:
We analyze how a country's political institutions affect oil production within its borders. We find a pronounced negative relationship between political openness and volatility in oil production, with democratic regimes exhibiting less volatility than more autocratic regimes. This relationship holds across a number of robustness checks including using different measures of political conditions, instrumenting for political conditions and using several measures of production volatility. Political openness also affects other oil market outcomes, including total production as a share of reserves. Our findings have implications both for interpreting the role of institutions in explaining differences in macroeconomic development and for understanding world oil markets.



In Light of Democracy and Corruption: Institutional Determinants of Electricity Provision

Frida Boräng, Sverker C. Jagers, Marina Povitkina

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.2.fbor
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Abstract:
Long-lasting democratic institutions have been found to matter for the universal provision of reliable electricity. In this article we revisit this finding, suggesting that the effect of democracy on electricity provision is moderated by the quality of institutions shaping the implementation of public policies. We test the hypothesis positing the interaction effect between democracy and corruption using cross-national data on the share of population living in unlit areas. The results show that democracy is associated with a higher electrification rate only in low-corrupt contexts. When corruption is widespread, democratic experience is not correlated with higher rates of electrification. These findings suggest that the effect of democratic institutions is conditional on the quality of the institutions that shape policy implementation.





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