WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Resources for the Future (RFF) released a new installment of Resources Radio: “Exploring the Resource Curse and Enhancing Energy Access, with Todd Moss.”
Host Daniel Raimi talks with Todd Moss, Executive Director of the Energy for Growth Hub at the Center for Global Development. Moss discusses the political and economic effects of the “natural resource curse” on developing economies, with a focus on Guyana. Moss comments on the importance of energy access for industries and businesses, how an influx of oil revenue can affect political stability, and the steps that governments can take to rebuild a “social contract” with their citizens.
Notable quotes from the podcast:
- “I'm pretty confident if I won a hundred million dollars I could spend it well, but actually the statistics are against me. If I'm going to behave like the average lottery winner . . . it’s probably got a pretty high chance of ruining my life. And that same phenomenon actually applies to lots of countries. When they hit the oil or mining lottery, all kinds of bad behavior happens. Countries start moving in some negative directions.”—Todd Moss (5:15)
- “One thing that strings all of this together is when you have a very concentrated source of income for the government that it hasn't done anything to achieve . . . the social contract between the government and the state starts to break down . . . I think that the most promising avenues here are things that help to try to foster that social contract to make that linkage between what the population does and thinks and what the government does and thinks.”—Todd Moss (6:45)
- “What's unique about the US relative to, I think, the entire rest of the world is that the subsoil rights are privately held in the US rather than publicly held . . . Where I do think there are some cautious lessons to be learned from the rest of the world is that people are people everywhere, and the United States is not immune to the worst instincts of how people behave. We're not immune to corruption and to some of the worst excesses. And that a gold rush can literally bring out the worst in people.”—Todd Moss (17:01)
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