Experience shows that developing countries who strike oil invariably stay poor.
I agree that many countries who have struck oil have remained poor. But invariably is much too strong.
By the standards of today the US in 1859, when the Pennsylvania oil fields were found, was a developing country. Heck, we could make the argument that the UK or Norway in the 1950s were, by today\’s standards, developing countries.
It\’s also not true that the resource curse (which is what he means) invariably means remaining in poverty even if we use the more modern meaning of \”developing country\”. Botswana has done very well indeed out of its diamond fields.
Rather than bringing wealth to many, it enriches a few, fosters corruption, encourages dictatorships and distorts the economies of nearly every poor country it has been found in. The story has been repeated from Nigeria to Sudan, Equatorial Guinea to Gabon and Angola to Venezuela.
That is more a list of countries which have remained poor while having natural resources than a proof that natural resources keep a country poor.
Oh, and the basic argument is that we should all chip in to pay Ecuador to leave the oil underground. How does foreign money flowing in for free, rather than drilling for oil, reduce the corruption, distortions or tendency towards dictatorship? Or, indeed, the resource curse of Dutch Disease?