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In this book, Michael L. Ross explores the breakdown of the institutions that govern natural resource exports in developing states. Using case studies of timber booms in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, he shows that these institutions often break down when states receive positive trade shocks--unanticipated windfalls. Drawing on the theory of rent-seeking, he suggests that these institutions succumb to a problem he calls rent-seizing --the predatory behavior of politicians who seek to supply rent to others, and who purposefully dismantle institutions that restrain them.
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