Oil Wealth, Colonial Legacies, and the Challenges of Economic Liberalization

NIMAH MAZAHERI
POLITICAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY 67.4 (2014): 769-782

Abstract: This article examines the relationship between oil wealth and the adoption of economic liberalization, specifically financial and investment reforms. It argues that volatility in the international oil market renders oil-producing countries less likely to adopt financial and investment liberalization. This is particularly the case for long-term oil producers in the developing world who had firsthand experience with colonialism. A statistical analysis confirms these hypotheses after controlling for rival factors. Despite pressures for countries to work toward greater economic liberalization, oil wealth and the legacy of colonialism can lead countries away from reform in certain policy areas.