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The rise and fall of an industry: Entry in U.S. copper mining, 1835–1986

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  • Slade, Margaret E.

Abstract

The principal forces that led to the rise and fall of the U.S. copper industry are explored: cost-lowering technical change, formation of expectations, consolidation of the industry, and depletion of investment opportunities. I find that the introduction of the steam shovel, which enabled open-pit mining, was the most important technological breakthrough. Revisions of expectations of success were statistically significant but economically less important. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, concentration of ownership encouraged entry. Finally, depletion was primarily responsible for the decline in entry in later years. However, the same forces that led to success also contributed to decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Slade, Margaret E., 2015. "The rise and fall of an industry: Entry in U.S. copper mining, 1835–1986," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 141-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:141-169
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2015.08.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Tapia Cortez, Carlos A. & Hitch, Michael & Sammut, Claude & Coulton, Jeff & Shishko, Robert & Saydam, Serkan, 2018. "Determining the embedding parameters governing long-term dynamics of copper prices," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 186-197.
    2. Marmer, Vadim & Slade, Margaret E., 2018. "Investment and uncertainty with time to build: Evidence from entry into U.S. copper mining," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 233-254.
    3. Tapia, Carlos & Coulton, Jeff & Saydam, Serkan, 2020. "Using entropy to assess dynamic behaviour of long-term copper price," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Copper; Mining; Exhaustible resources; Entry; Investment; Count data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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