On the Development of Mineral Resources in Latin America

Michael Giberson

And while linking to the Master Resource blog (as I did in the prior post), check out Guillermo Yeatts’s excellent article posted this morning, “Subsoil Oil and Gas Privatization: Private Wealth for the Common Good.”

Privatization, or at least partial privatization, has been tried and has failed in several Latin American countries, as Yeatts notes.  His discussion of those failures, as well as the way that government-control of mineral wealth is used to sustain political coalitions – reward cronies, buy off potential opponents – reminded me of the North, Wallis, and Weingast book, Violence and Social Order.  I think the North, Wallis and Weingast book, too, provides the framework for identifying what more, in addition to privatization of subsurface resources, is necessary for sustaining growth and development in Latin American countries.