This paper argues against a natural resource curse for human development. We find evidence that changes in human development from 1970 to 2005, proxied by changes in the Human Development Index, are positively and significantly correlated with natural resource abundance. While our results are consistent with those of other authors who have recently argued that natural resources do not adversely affect growth, we find strong evidence that natural resources have a positive effect on human development and particularly on its non-income dimensions. However, results from Latin America interactions show that the positive impact of natural resources in this region is significantly smaller than in the rest of the world. These results contribute to a broader discussion about the “resource curse” by showing that natural resources may be a blessing rather than a curse for human development, primarily through its effects on education and health rather than income.
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