Editorial: Chad's resource curse

12/21/2009
An assessment of the World Bank's failed Chadian experiment confirms the intuition that poor countries with dodgy governments remain doomed to the resource curse. In Chad and neighboring Cameroon, the bank wove extraordinary financial and transparency controls into loans for a major energy project. It wanted development to proceed with minimum social and environmental disruption and maximum development and alleviation of poverty. Against the first two standards the experiment seems to have succeeded. Against the latter standard—the bank's priority—it did not.The effort was noble. Too frequently, resource development does more economic harm than good in poor countries. In too m...
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