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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

An oil rig in the ocean. Adobe Stock.

Guyana’s Oil Boom: 2 Steps Down, 4 to Go

ExxonMobil announced the discovery of two more massive oil fields off the coast of Guyana last month. If back-of-the-envelope estimates of around $5 billion of oil revenue per year are correct, that equates to around $6,410 USD per person—far more than the current GDP per capita of $4,655 USD. This wall of cash could be transformative or it could create a rash of new problems.

Stock photo of oil pumpjacks

How Can Countries Escape the Natural Resource Curse? Answer: Democracy

How can countries escape the natural resource curse? And to what extent do cohesive and democratic institutions facilitate this process? In a new CGD working paper, we look at Nigeria—often seen as the prime example of a country cursed by its wealth. We show that when political institutions are cohesive and power is shared among the diverse groups in a multi-ethnic society, political contests over resource revenues are less likely to be violent. What produces cohesive institutions? Democratic elections.