A Learning Perspective On The Role Of Natural Resources In Economic Development

Publication: Research - peer-reviewArticle in proceedings – Annual report year: 2011


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Natural resource-based industries are in economics often is understood as being unable to stimulate growth and development. The latter point has been put forward in the form of the ‘resource curse’ and is epitomised by inter alia Reinert (2007) who sees natural resource-based industries as detrimental to growth and development. Still, it will be argued here that Reinert’s approach is unsuitable for grasping the full role of natural resources in economic development because important aspects of industrial dynamics are ignored. In pursuit of the latter research aim two topics in economic research will be integrated: (i) the area of learning, innovation, capability building and economic development; (ii) with the area of natural resources and economic development. Such integration will be a contribution to both topics. Hence, this paper seeks to address the question: how can we understand the role of natural resources in the process of economic development from a learning perspective? The latter is sought answered by use of logic and historical examples of natural resource-based development. The tentative answer given is that natural resources must be understood as dynamic, and as being subject to learning processes of natural resource creation, extension and obsolescing that are enabled or blocked by institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems
Publication date2011
StatePublished - 2011


Conference9th Globelics International Conference
CityBuenos Aires
Internet addresshttp://www.ungs.edu.ar/globelics/

Bibliographical note

15.-17. November


  • learning perspective, development, structural change, institutions, Natural resources
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