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The relationship between mining and socio-economic well being in Australia's regions

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  • Hajkowicz, Stefan A.
  • Heyenga, Sonja
  • Moffat, Kieren
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the relationship between quality of life indicators and the gross value of minerals production from Australian regions. We used quality of life indicators, aggregated for 71 local government areas containing mining activities, of household income, housing affordability, access to communication services, educational attainment, life expectancy, and unemployment. We find no evidence of systematic negative associations between quality of life and the gross value of minerals production. Instead, mining activity has a positive impact on incomes, housing affordability, communication access, education and employment across regional and remote Australia. Whilst we do not establish causality between mining activity and quality of life, our analysis prompts a rethink of the resource curse as it applies within a single country. We did not find evidence of a resource curse, at the local government level, in Australia's mining regions. Nevertheless, we note observations by many other researchers of negative social impacts on specific demographic sectors, localities, families of fly-in fly-out mining operations, and individuals. This contrast may be a scale issue, with the regional benefits of mineral wealth masking highly localised inequalities and disadvantage. We suggest that there is a need to better understand these impacts and, more importantly, the types of policy mechanisms government and industry can adopt to mitigate or avoid them.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 30-38

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:30-38

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30467

    Related research

    Keywords: Resource curse Regional development Sustainability Social equity;

    References

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    1. Atkinson, Giles & Hamilton, Kirk, 2003. "Savings, Growth and the Resource Curse Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1793-1807, November.
    2. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne, 2009. "Is Transparency the Key to Reducing Corruption in Resource-Rich Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 521-532, March.
    3. Galbraith, James K., 2007. "Global inequality and global macroeconomics," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 587-607.
    4. Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2006. "The Resource Curse Revisited and Revised: A Tale of Paradoxes and Red Herrings," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/61, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    5. Heemskerk, Marieke, 2001. "Do international commodity prices drive natural resource booms? An empirical analysis of small-scale gold mining in Suriname," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 295-308, November.
    6. Clark, Allen L. & Cook Clark, Jennifer, 1999. "The new reality of mineral development: social and cultural issues in Asia and Pacific nations," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 189-196, September.
    7. Brunnschweiler, Christa N., 2008. "Cursing the Blessings? Natural Resource Abundance, Institutions, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-419, March.
    8. Dan Black & Terra McKinnish & Seth Sanders, 2005. "The Economic Impact Of The Coal Boom And Bust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 449-476, 04.
    9. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2008. "Constitutions and the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 227-246, October.
    10. Solomon, Fiona & Katz, Evie & Lovel, Roy, 2008. "Social dimensions of mining: Research, policy and practice challenges for the minerals industry in Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 142-149, September.
    11. Vernon Topp & Leo Soames & Dean Parham & Harry Bloch, 2008. "Productivity in the Mining Industry: Measurement and Interpretation," Staff Working Papers, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia 0807, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    12. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
    13. Papyrakis, Elissaios & Gerlagh, Reyer, 2007. "Resource abundance and economic growth in the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 1011-1039, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2014. "Valuation framing and attribute scope variation in a choice experiment to asses the impacts of changing land use from agriculture to mining," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia 165888, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Fleming, David A. & Measham, Thomas G., 2013. "Disentangling the Natural Resources Curse: National and Regional Socioeconomic Impacts of Resource Windfalls," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150526, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Hernán Enríquez Sierra & Carlos Barreto Nieto & Carolina Correa Caro & Jacobo Campo Robledo, 2013. "Precio del suelo y regalías en Colombia: un análisis espacial para los municipios productores de petróleo," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    4. Moffat, Kieren & Zhang, Airong, 2014. "The paths to social licence to operate: An integrative model explaining community acceptance of mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 61-70.
    5. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2013. "Using discrete choice experiments to assess the preferences of new mining workforce to commute or relocate to the Surat Basin in Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 169-180.
    6. Kinnear, Susan & Ogden, Ian, 2014. "Planning the innovation agenda for sustainable development in resource regions: A central Queensland case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 42-53.
    7. Lei, Yalin & Cui, Na & Pan, Dongyang, 2013. "Economic and social effects analysis of mineral development in China and policy implications," Resources Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 448-457.

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