The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper models the incentives for a self-interested government to implement "good policies". While good policies lead to investment and growth, they reduce the government's ability to increase supporters' consumption. The model predicts that resource abundance is conductive to poor policies and, consequently, to low investment. The implications of the model are broadly supported by evidence on sub-Saharan African countries. In particular, countries that are rich in natural resources tend to have lower institutional quality and worse macroeconomic and trade policies.