Dr. Beatriz Calzada Olvera

Extractive Industries and Structural Transformation

Year: 2022

Bart Verspagen & Neil Foster-McGregor


The exploitation of extractive resources has been historically considered a curse for development due to the enclave nature of mining operations and the macroeconomic imbalances associated with the Dutch disease, among other reasons. The extractive commodities boom in the early 21st century, however, brought a renewed enthusiasm for this sector with several scholars highlighting their potential for structural transformation. This dissertation thus explores whether extractive sectors have promoted structural transformation, or on the contrary, have led to unsustainable development paths, based on their macro-level performance in recent decades. On the one hand, it explores whether the long-established theorized mechanisms associated with the resource curse still hold, namely, those linked to the Dutch disease and the enclave nature of extractive sectors. On the other, it also tests if the positive scenario that emerged shortly after the onset of the 21st century is empirically substantiated, particularly amidst a scenario in which extractive commodity prices have been and are expected to remain high. This dissertation concludes that some of the mechanisms hypothesized by the Dutch disease are no longer systematically observed. However, the expansion of commodity prices has had significant negative effects on the development of production linkages and diversification efforts, affecting the development of productive capacities in both the short and long term.

Selected publications by Beatriz Calzada Olvera