It's Often a Curse to Be Blessed With Commodities

Lots of oil and other resources tend to stifle healthy growth.

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Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

In 1976, Stanford political science graduate student Terry Lynn Karl paid a visit to Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso, the founder of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Perez Alfonso’s home nation, Venezuela, was in the midst of an oil-fueled boom that was partly OPEC’s doing, but he wasn’t celebrating. He asked Karl to study what oil was doing to his country, then offered these parting words:

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