Contesting Resources - Rent Seeking, Conflict and the Natural Resource

A.K. Wick, E.H. Bulte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


A growing empirical literature links natural resource abundance and "pointiness" to impeded economic growth and civil strife. We develop rent seeking and conflict models that capture the most salient features of contests for resource rents, and show how both resource abundance and geographical clustering can be associated with intense contests and sub-optimal economic performance. However, we also show that these relationships are not necessarily monotonous { pointiness can trigger more intense contests but can also facilitate the coordination on peaceful outcomes. Finally we show that contesting resources through violent conflict may yield superior outcomes (from an economy-wide perspective) than contests through rent seeking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-476
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • civil-war
  • property-rights
  • growth
  • institutions

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