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Economic Implications of Long Distance Commuting in the Chilean Mining Industry


  • Patricio Aroca

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte)

  • Miguel Atienza

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Católica del Norte)


More than 10 percent of the labor force that works in Antofagasta lives in other regions, commuting on average more than 800 kilometers in a shift system that allows working several days in a row followed by several days off. The mining industry is the main contractor of such workers and the impact of the process spreads through the rest of Chilean territory. Using an input-output approach, this paper shows that a significant amount of resources generated by the mining industries in the Region of Antofagasta goes to other regions in wages earned by commuters who have decided to work in this region but live in another. The commuting process seems to be driven by centripetal forces that support centralization, thus arguing for regional policies to promote the attractiveness of the peripheral regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricio Aroca & Miguel Atienza, 2010. "Economic Implications of Long Distance Commuting in the Chilean Mining Industry," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 03, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:cat:dtecon:dt201003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stijns, Jean-Philippe C., 2005. "Natural resource abundance and economic growth revisited," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-130, June.
    2. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 420-446, September.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
    4. Rabah Arezki & Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Can the Natural Resource Curse Be Turned into a Blessing? The Role of Trade Policies and Institutions," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/35, European University Institute.
    5. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    6. Holmes, Thomas J. & Stevens, John J., 2004. "Spatial distribution of economic activities in North America," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 63, pages 2797-2843 Elsevier.
    7. Aroca, Patricio, 2001. "Impacts and development in local economies based on mining: : the case of the Chilean II region," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 119-134, June.
    8. Dusan Paredes & Patricio Aroca, 2008. "Metodología para Estimar un Indice Regional de Costo de Vivienda en Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 45(131), pages 129-143.
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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Fleming & Thomas G. Measham & Dusan Paredes, 2015. "Understanding the resource curse (or blessing) across national and regional scales: Theory, empirical challenges and an application," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 59(4), pages 624-639, October.
    2. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:328-339 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paredes, Dusan & Komarek, Timothy & Loveridge, Scott, 2015. "Income and employment effects of shale gas extraction windfalls: Evidence from the Marcellus region," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 112-120.
    4. Windle, Jill & Rolfe, John, 2013. "Using discrete choice experiments to assess the preferences of new mining workforce to commute or relocate to the Surat Basin in Australia," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 169-180.
    5. Claudio Bravo-Ortega & Leonardo Muñoz, 2017. "Knowledge-Intensive Mining Services: a Regional Approach for their Development in Chile," Working Papers wp448, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    6. Dusan Paredes & Timothy Komarek & Scott Loveridge, 2014. "Assessing the Income and Employment Effects of Shale Gas Extraction Windfalls: Evidence from the Marcellus Region," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 49, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.
    7. repec:kap:jgeosy:v:19:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10109-017-0250-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dusan Paredes, 2012. "Alternative theories for explaining the spatial wage inequality: a multilevel competition among human capital, NEG and amenities," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 20, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2012.


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