Political economy, Mr. Churchill, and natural resources

Thorvaldur Gylfason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article recalls Winston Churchill’s advocacy of public ownership of natural resources in Africa in the early 1900s. Following a brief discussion of different countries´ methods of natural resource management, empirical evidence of the cross-country relationship between economic and political diversification and per capita national income is presented to suggest a new channel through which excessive dependence on poorly managed natural resources, including oil and other minerals, may hamper economic and social progress. Constitutional issues, democracy, and human rights are brought to bear on the story to underline the conceptual distinction between state ownership and national ownership of natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalMineral Economics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Other keywords

  • National ownership
  • Political economy
  • State ownership


Dive into the research topics of 'Political economy, Mr. Churchill, and natural resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this