Tuesday, January 19, 2021
* noted as presenting author
- Background and Purpose: Natural resources such as oil, gas, and minerals play a dominant role in 81 countries covering 3.5 billion people in the world. These countries produce 85% of world’s petroleum, 90% diamonds and 80% of copper. Profits from these resources in the world constituted $2.6 trillion in 2010. 65 countries out 81 are developing countries and despite their resource abundance, they are still poor. Association between the abundance of natural resource and negative growth is well established since 1980’s and it is called resource curse. It is hypothesized that spillovers from resource curse affect the wellbeing of citizens including children. To test this hypothesis, the study compared all developing resource-rich and resource-poor countries in terms of infant mortality rate. Infant mortality rate, number of death of children per 1000 live birth before the first birthday is a core indicator of child wellbeing and often used as an indicator of wellbeing and health of citizens. The purpose of this study was to extend the resource curse theory to infant mortality rate to explore the possible association between them.
- Methods: The study used cross-sectional, descriptive and quantitative research design. Panel data on infant mortality rate came from UNICEF that covered 188 countries for years 2000-2010. 143 same income level countries out of 188 were included in the analysis. 81 of them were resource-rich and 62 resource-poor countries. List of resource-rich countries was taken from Natural Resource Governance Institute. The sample size was categorized and 2 groups were created such as resource-rich and resource-poor countries. R Statistical software was used to conduct descriptive and one-way repeated measures ANOVA to answer the proposed research question.
- Results: A statistically significant difference was found among two groups of countries F(1.109, 156.334)=1.16, p=.040. Based on the value of partial eta squared only 1 % of the variance in the model accounted for the natural resources and the rest 99% by Error. There was the statistically significant difference in the infant mortality rate between resource-rich and resource-poor countries. Findings of the study revealed that resource curse was correlated with the higher infant mortality rate in resource-rich countries.
- Conclusions and Implications: The resource curse was correlated with higher infant mortality rates in developing resource-rich countries. In other words, children do not benefit from developing countries’ natural resource wealth. Research implication of this study is conducting further research on the situation of vulnerable groups in developing resource-rich countries to get detailed understanding since these countries vary in terms of advancement, availability, and access to social welfare and health care policies and services. Policy implication for governments of these countries is to design effective social welfare and health care policies to protect vulnerable groups especially children from negative effects of the resource curse. Practice implications for social work and social policy communities are to enter into the natural resource industry to advocate for vulnerable groups and to ensure fair distribution of natural resource wealth among all citizens to eliminate negative spillovers of resource curse on child welfare systems.