Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Ahmed S. Abou-Zaid


While several Middle East and North Africa countries have a huge endowment of natural resources such as oil and natural gas, poverty indicators, as expressed by well-being indicators and headcount, are no better in these countries than others that are relatively poor in natural resources. For instance, oil rich countries, such as Syria and Sudan, have a lower life expectancy and school enrollment than poor-resources countries like Lebanon and Israel. This study thereby, investigates the cross-country differences of poverty response to changes in natural resources wealth. The paper utilizes a panel data model for the period from 1985 to 2014 based on five-year intervals. The measurement of poverty consists of five different indicators, which are the human development index, three well-being indicators and poverty headcount. Results indicate that natural resources abundance does not directly impact the well-being of the people. The results are consistent with the growth-resources literature that links natural resources abundance to slow economic growth. That is, the presence of natural resources within developing countries exacerbates the risk of political instability, corruption, and poor governance, which we further examine in the second model.

Included in

Economics Commons