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Mining’s impact on the competitiveness of other sectors in a resource-rich economy: Australia since the 1840s

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  • Kym Anderson

    (University of Adelaide
    Australian National University)

Abstract

Australia’s several major mining booms since the 1840s have impacted positively on national economic growth and non-trivially on the competitiveness of other sectors of its economy. This paper shows the latter to be consistent with economic theory only when sectoral policy developments are taken into consideration. It reveals several features that make the sectoral composition of Australia’s economy unusual. One is that the manufacturing share of GDP was unusually high until protectionism was phased out from the 1970s. Another is that the farm sector continued to enjoy a strong comparative advantage despite mining booms and high rates of assistance to import-competing manufacturers. Also, the agricultural and services sectors’ shares of GDP remained fairly constant rather than diverging during 1860–1960. The paper concludes by drawing out implications for future policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kym Anderson, 2018. "Mining’s impact on the competitiveness of other sectors in a resource-rich economy: Australia since the 1840s," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 31(1), pages 141-151, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13563-017-0133-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-017-0133-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julian M. Alston & Kym Anderson & Philip G. Pardey & John Freebairn, 2016. "Antipodean agricultural and resource economics at 60: booming sector economics," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 60(4), pages 633-646, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mining booms; Structural transformation; Trade costs; Manufacturing protection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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