Date of Graduation

Spring 12-16-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

John Gonzales


What explains the ability of some countries to successfully use their natural resources towards development and economic growth while for others stagnation and impoverishment? The resource curse theory has helped economists explain this observation. This work examines how Peru has been able to produce strong economic growth in the last 20 years despite the economy’s strong dependence on its natural resource extractive industry. Peru has been able to avoid many of the pitfalls and traps that resource curse literature considers to be detrimental to economic growth. This article examines the resource based economies of four other countries (Venezuela, Chile, Nigeria, and Botswana) and identifies successful policies that have aided economic growth versus those that have had the opposite effect.