There really is a "curse of oil." And I am a great admirer of William Easterly's writings. Combine oil with aid and you get the likes of Omar Bongo. "Mr. Bongo made no distinction between Gabon and his private property. He had ruled for so long, 42 years, that they had become one."
I was in Mexico in (I think) 1976 when Pres. Lopez Portillo was sworn in. I recall his address to the nation and he boasted that there are two kinds of countries, those that have oil and those that do not. He paused and then said: "And we have it." And there were wild cheers.