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Coal Mining And The Resource Curse In The Eastern United States

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  • Stratford Douglas
  • Anne Walker

Abstract

We measure the effect of resource sector dependence on long run income growth using the natural experiment of variation in coal endowments in a set of 409 relatively U.S. counties selected for homogeneity. Using a panel data set that extends over two separate boom and bust cycles (1970-2010), we find that coal dependence significantly reduces growth of per capita county income over the long run. These estimates indicate that a one standard deviation increase in the measure of resource intensity results in an estimated 0.7 percentage point drop in average annual growth rates. We also measure the extent to which the Appalachian coal resource curse operates by providing disincentives to education, and find that the education channel explains only about 15% to 40% of the curse.
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  • Stratford Douglas & Anne Walker, 2017. "Coal Mining And The Resource Curse In The Eastern United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 568-590, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:57:y:2017:i:4:p:568-590
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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