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Variegated dependence: The geographically differentiated economic outcomes of resource-based development in Peru, 2001-2015

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The economic impacts of resource-based development are distributed unevenly across national space, and not even mining regions experience economic development in the same way. We build on the methodology of Rehner et. al. (2014) to typify resource-based economic development in Peru in the period 2001- 2015 and compare it with the case of mineral-abundant Chile. What we find is a nuanced version of the same dependency-related resource curse phenomenon. With the commodity cycle: (i) export specialization is not the same in all places; (ii) regional growth volatility is much higher in Peru than in Chile; (iii) the Dutch disease does not clearly manifest itself; and therefore (iv) economic dependence within Peru is variegated. At the national level, gold-and-copper-dependent Peru is not as vulnerable as copper-dependent Chile to external shocks. At the subnational level, outside Lima in particular, dependence-related volatility can be very high for clusters of regions. The results of the quantitative analysis are attuned to a theoretical framework of variegated dependence, which, while acknowledging the centrality of the center-and-periphery supranational structure for economic development, attributes variation in resource curse phenomena to subnational differences across space and over time in economic-geography configurations and institutional regimes.


Dependence, Regional Development, Dutch disease, Export Specialization, Institutions, Resource Curse

JEL Classification

F43, O11, O18, Q33, Q34, Q37, R58