Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nan Zhang Humanities and Social Science

Botswanan Diamonds, Enclave Production, and the Political Economy of Resource-Led Development

A common consensus in the political economy of development literature holds that countries whose production depends overwhelmingly on primary resources &Mac246; oil, diamonds, minerals &Mac246; tend to grow more slowly than their resource scarce neighbors, and also often fall victim to insidious politics and state weakness. In stark contrast to this consensus however stands Botswana, a country built on diamond wealth that has nevertheless managed to sustain the highest level of GDPpc growth of any nation in the world over the past 35 years. This project explores how Botswana was able to transcend the resource curse through a comparative analysis of African post-colonial political economies. The empirical lessons of the analysis will then be embedded within an expected utility model of political behavior.

Major: Economics, Political Science
Mentor: Edward Miguel, Economics
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