I am a true believer in the "Natural Resource Curse" thesis. That is: countries with huge endowments of nature resources tend to grow slowly due to institutional reasons.
Last Wednesday, however, I attended a seminar at Cambridge that has shaken my beliefs. Erwin Bulte, from Tilburg, has shown that the econometric results that support the curse thesis are reversed when resource abundance is correctly measured. I am still not convinced because he has just 10 African countries in his sample and maybe there is selection bias. Nevertheless, I think it is a very interesting paper.
Update: Shikida sent me the link to a new book on the Resource Curse.