The “resource curse” hypothesis postulates that resource-rich countries are doomed to stagnation. However, a number of countries with high levels of economic freedom demonstrate that it is possible to build a prosperous economy with a significant share of GDP from the sale of minerals. It is not the price of a barrel, but the quality of institutions – namely, secure property rights, a favorable tax regime, minimal red tape – that determine whether oil is a blessing or a curse.
What caused the fall in oil prices in 2014? How will global politics be affected by the changing energy environment? Will countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia stick to the traditional model of “resource nationalism” or are we likely to see elements of modernisation?
Find out on Tuesday, 21th Feb (Week 6), at 6.30 pm. The address is Deakin Room, Founders Building, St. Antony’s College (62 Woodstock Rd).
Our guest speaker will be Peter Kaznacheev, an energy economist, researcher and columnist. He runs the Centre for Resource Economics, a think tank, and a consulting firm helping businesses to adapt to the new era of cheaper oil. Previously, he worked as a business developer at BP, and before that (in 2002-2005), as a senior advisor in the Russian Presidential Administration.
Peter is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a network of international scholars founded by F. A. Hayek. His most recent policy paper Curse or Blessing? How Institutions Determine Success in Resource-Rich Economies was published by the Cato Institute.