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From agriculture to mining: The changing economic base of a rural economy and implications for development

Author

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  • McFarlane, Jim A.
  • Blackwell, Boyd D.
  • Mounter, Stuart W.
  • Grant, Bligh J.

Abstract

This paper uses economic-base theory and input–output modelling to examine the structure of a regional rural economy in New South Wales, Australia, drawing important policy implications for economic planners. The most salient trend has been a shift in the area’s dependence from agriculture to mining over the recent decade. However, the level of diversity of the region’s industrial composition has altered very little. Mining is also contributing to significant net leakage of employment income from the region. Mining should therefore not necessarily be considered as the key future opportunity for economic development. Instead, a number of industry sectors, particularly those that foster innovation and technology, can be harnessed to drive future regional growth. In addition, a tourism marketing strategy promoting the region’s food, wine and other distinctive attributes should play an integral role in future development planning. These prescriptions are highly transferable to similar rural economies experiencing a shift to mining.

Suggested Citation

  • McFarlane, Jim A. & Blackwell, Boyd D. & Mounter, Stuart W. & Grant, Bligh J., 2016. "From agriculture to mining: The changing economic base of a rural economy and implications for development," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 56-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:49:y:2016:i:c:p:56-65
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2015.11.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:bla:econpa:v:36:y:2017:i:3:p:317-334 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Agriculture; Central West; NSW; Australia; Economic base; Diversity; Mining; Tourism;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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