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African Mining, Gender, and Local Employment

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  • Kotsadam, Andreas
  • Tolonen, Anja

Abstract

The discovery of natural resources across the African continent brings hope for millions of poor people, but there are long-standing fears that the resources will be a curse rather than a blessing. One of the most frequently claimed effects is that gender inequality in economic opportunities may increase with mining. This paper is the first multi-country quantitative analysis of the local employment impacts for men and women of large-scale mining in the African continent. Using exact mine locations, we merge survey data for 800,000 individuals with data on all mine openings and closings across the continent, which enables a highly localized analysis of spillover effects. We employ a geographic difference-in-difference estimation exploiting the spatial and temporal variation in mining. We show that industrial mine opening is a mixed blessing for women. It triggers a local structural shift, whereby women shift from agricultural self-employment (25% decrease) to the service sector (50% increase), and are 16% more likely to earn cash. However, overall female employment decreases by 8% as agriculture is a larger sector than services. Male partners shift to skilled manual labor, and some find jobs in the mining sector. The effects of mine openings diminish with distance and are close to zero at 50km from a mine. Mine closure causes the service and skilled sectors to contract. The results are robust to a wide battery of robustness checks, such as using different measures of distance and excluding migrants from the sample. This paper shows that large-scale mining can stimulate nonagricultural sectors in Africa, although it creates local boom-bust economies with transient and gender-specific employment effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Kotsadam, Andreas & Tolonen, Anja, 2016. "African Mining, Gender, and Local Employment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 325-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:83:y:2016:i:c:p:325-339
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.01.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Deininger, Klaus & Xia, Fang, 2016. "Quantifying Spillover Effects from Large Land-based Investment: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 227-241.
    2. Addison,Tony & Boly,Amadou & Mveyange,Anthony Francis, 2017. "The impact of mining on spatial inequality recent evidence from Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7960, The World Bank.
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    5. Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Mate,Aurelio & Payongayong,Ellen & Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Mate,Aurelio & Payongayong,Ellen, 2015. "Quantifying spillover effects from large farm establishments : the case of Mozambique," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7466, The World Bank.
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    7. Nemera Mamo & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Alexander Moradi & Rabah Arezki, 2017. "Intensive and Extensive Margins of Mining and Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Paper Series 0517, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    8. Rémi BAZILLIER & Victoire GIRARD, 2017. "The gold digger and the machine. Evidence on the distributive effect of the artisanal and industrial gold rushes in Burkina Faso," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2545, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
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    natural resources; female employment; Africa;

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