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An empirical examination of the relationship between mining employment and poverty in the Appalachian region


  • B. James Deaton
  • Ekaterina Niman


We empirically examine the relationship between the share of employment in the mining sector and poverty rates in Appalachian counties of the United States. Using panel data we decompose the effect of an increase in a sector's employment share (i.e. mining, manufacturing, agriculture, services and construction) to identify an immediate and lag effect. With regard to the mining sector the empirical results suggest that the immediate effect reduces poverty rates while the lag effect is associated with increases in the poverty rate. We assess these results in the context of previous literature that examines the relationship between resource intensive economies and economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • B. James Deaton & Ekaterina Niman, 2012. "An empirical examination of the relationship between mining employment and poverty in the Appalachian region," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 303-312, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:3:p:303-312
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2010.505558

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    2. Dan A. Black & Terra G. McKinnish & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Tight Labor Markets and the Demand for Education: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(1), pages 3-16, October.
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    5. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S., 2007. "Persistent Pockets of Extreme American Poverty and Job Growth: Is There a Place-Based Policy Role?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(01), April.
    6. Michele Ver Ploeg & Constance F. Citro, 2008. "Poverty Measurement: Orshansky's Original Measures and the Development of Alternatives ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 581-590.
    7. William Levernier & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2000. "The Causes of Regional Variations in U.S. Poverty: A Cross-County Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 473-497.
    8. Jeffrey J. Yankow, 2003. "Migration, Job Change, and Wage Growth: A New Perspective on the Pecuniary Return to Geographic Mobility," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 483-516.
    9. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2006. "The Geography of American Poverty: Is There a Need for Place-Based Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number gap, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michieka, Nyakundi M. & Gearhart, Richard, 2015. "Oil price fluctuations and employment in Kern County: A Vector Error Correction approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 584-590.
    2. Joseph Marchand, 2015. "The distributional impacts of an energy boom in Western Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(2), pages 714-735, May.
    3. Betz, Michael R. & Partridge, Mark D. & Farren, Michael & Lobao, Linda, 2015. "Coal mining, economic development, and the natural resources curse," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 105-116.
    4. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2016. "Local Labor Markets and Natural Resources: A Synthesis of the Literature," Working Papers 2016-10, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 24 Jan 2017.
    5. Douglas, Stratford M. & Walker, Anne, 2012. "Sample Selection in Appalachian Research," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 42(2), pages 143-159, Summer.
    6. Xu, Hangtian & Nakajima, Kentaro, 2016. "Did China's coal mine regulation positively affect economic growth?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 160-168.
    7. repec:spr:minecn:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-017-0117-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. James, Alexander, 2016. "The long-run vanity of Prudhoe Bay," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 270-275.
    9. Xu, Hangtian & Nakajima, Kentaro, 2013. "The Role of Coal Mine Regulation in Regional Development," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 45, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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