Natural Resources, Institutional Quality, and Economic Growth in China

Kan Ji, Jan R. Magnus*, Wendun Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The resource curse has been mainly studied using cross-country samples. In this paper we analyze a cross-province sample from one country: China. We focus on the interplay between resource abundance, institutional quality, and economic growth, using two different measures of resource abundance (a stock: resource reserves; and a flow: resource revenues), and employing various econometric approaches including varying coefficient models. We find that resource abundance has a positive effect on economic growth at the provincial level in China between 1990 and 2008, an effect that depends nonlinearly on institutional quality (1995 confidence in courts). The ‘West China Development Drive’ policy, initiated in 2000, caused substantial changes, which we investigate through a comparative panel-data analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-343
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • China
  • Economic growth
  • Functional effect
  • Institutional quality
  • Natural resource curse
  • Policy change
  • Resource abundance

Cite this