Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Cameron Shelton

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© 2015 Danielle M. Roberts


The literature addressing the resource curse has been extensive. Many studies have put forth theories to explain the curse, but these theories are often refuted by new studies. Recently, there has been a theory that natural resource abundance leads to decreased economic freedom, which causes slower economic growth. Many of these studies have using frequentist testing to arrive at their conclusions. Although frequentist testing is widely used, there are several drawbacks. In particular, there is no way of addressing model uncertainty. Unless a study is able to incorporate every significant explanatory variable, the results will suffer from omitted variable bias. Recently, researchers have been applying Bayesian statistics to address the problem of model uncertainty. In this study, we apply Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) to build a growth model, and see if natural resources have a negative effect on growth. We take the implementation of BMA a step further to see if there is an indirect negative effect of natural resources on economic freedom. However, contrary to previous studies, we were not able to find a negative relationship between resource abundance and economic freedom.