Many resource-exporting nations have sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), but only the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) pays a regular dividend to citizens. They call it the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Every Alaskan citizen-resident has received a small share of the returns to the state's SWF since 1982. This article argues, using rigorous qualitative analysis of Alaska politics and of the social science literature on the effects of the APF and PFD that there are important lessons that all nations can learn from Alaska's unique experience.

First, Resource dividends work and they're popular. Second, a state does not have to be resource rich to have a resource dividend. Third, states have resource dividends because the people took advantage of the opportunity. Therefore, the people must look for opportunities. Fourth, members of the political community must think not only like joint owners of their resources, not only like monopolistic owners of their resources, but also like custodians of their resources for their descendants. Fifth, build a constituency. Sixth, avoid creating enemies. Seventh, a dividend amplifies transparency by using the greed of the many to counter the greed of the few. Eighth, we cannot know that a nation has avoided the resource curse until their resource exports have run out.


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