In this volume, leading economists, lawyers, and political scientists address the fundamental channels generated by this wealth and examine the major decisions a country must make when faced with an abundance of a natural resource. They identify such problems as asymmetric bargaining power, limited access to information, the failure to engage in long-term planning, weak institutional structures, and missing mechanisms of accountability. They also provide a series of solutions, including recommendations for contracting with oil companies and allocating revenue; guidelines for negotiators; models for optimal auctions; and strategies to strengthen state-society linkages and public accountability.
The contributors show that solutions to the resource curse do exist; yet, institutional innovations are necessary to align the incentives of key domestic and international actors, and this requires fundamental political changes and much greater levels of transparency than currently exist. It is becoming increasingly clear that past policies have not provided the benefits they promised. Escaping the Resource Curse lays out a path for radically improving the management of the world's natural resources.
The contributors provide background analysis and thorough diagnosis of Peru's economic problems. They explain how inconsistent populist policies and the ensuing economic crisis have caused the standard of living to deteriorate dramatically, paving the way for significant expansion of social violence, political instability, and isolation from the international financial community.
Peru's Path to Recovery offers an adjustment program that is sound but also is complemented by a social support program to assist the poor - those who have suffered the most from previous disadjustment. This combination makes the program both equitable and politically sustainable. With the inauguration of Alberto Fujimori, Peru has the opportunity to embrace a new economic strategy to stabilize the economy, curtail the extreme poverty, and reduce the massive unemployment and underemployment. Such a course will not be easy: patterns of government, business, and social behavior will have to change. But through such changes Peru can hope to become a stable, thriving country once more.