Abstract: We advance a novel mechanism that helps to explain the puzzling evidence on the natural resource curse. The new channel arises in a standard dynamic Heckscher–Ohlin model composed of small-open economies that take international output prices as given. Within this framework, a more capital-intensive primary sector implies that natural-resource abundant economies grow more slowly along the adjustment path. This effect might be only temporary because the natural input also affects long-run income, and not necessarily in the same direction as transitional growth. We produce quantitative results that show that the new mechanism can account for a significant fraction of the observed output growth gap between resource rich and resource poor U.S. states.