Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

College of Business

Advisor 1

Gary Campbell

Advisor 2

Emanuel Xavier-Oliveira

Committee Member 1

Brian Barkdoll


Over the years, there has been discord or lack of agreement on the effect that natural resources have on economic growth and development. This study adopts output approach to investigate the effect that natural resources and institutions (Economic Freedom) have on economic growth for the period of 1960 to 2020 using World Bank data. The analysis employs Multiple Regression Analysis based on augmented Ordinary Least Squares Regression methods. The results are mixed, as the outcome indicates that, while natural resources are positively related to economic growth, there exists a crowding out effect between natural resources and two sectors of the economy namely, agriculture, and manufacturing. An Economic Freedom Index was also positively related to economic growth. Sound Money and International Trade Freedom had a significant positive relationship on economic growth while Size of the Government, Legal System, Property Rights, and Regulatory Burden were insignificant. The study recommends Hartwick’s rule of sustainability, economic diversification as it helps to reduce volatility, facilitating international trade freedom and development of a sound money system.