Professor of political science at the University of California, Michael L. Ross, has been researching oil and democracy for a decade. Ross argues, in papers from 2001 and 2009, that oil wealth hinder democratic transitions from authoritarian states.
«The undemocratic effects of oil vary by region and have fluctuated between 1960 and 2002. The one causal mechanism for the “oil-autocracy link,” Ross wrote in 2009, was the “rentier effect,” in which oil states use low taxes and high spending to quell democratic pressures. To reverse these undemocratic effects, oil states need revenue transparency and institutions accountable to the public. »