Turns out that culture matters, too. From the NYTimes (free registration may be required)
The global financial crisis has brought low the economies of just about every country on earth. But not Norway.
Often natural resource wealth becomes a trap for a country as the nation is tempted to consume the riches that come from exporting the natural resources (such as oil). Other times, the natural blessing ends up only benfitting a narrow, wealthy elite. Norway has avoided both traps and also avoided much of the global crisis affecting everyone else. Culture appears to have much to do with it.