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Living in the garden of Eden: Mineral resources foster individualism

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  • Mathieu Couttenier

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Marc Sangnier

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris)

Abstract

Using mineral resources discoveries in the United States since 1800, we argue that mineral mining fosters individualism. Measuring individualism and the demand for redistribution by questions of the General Social Survey (GSS), we show that: (i) individuals living in states with mineral resources are more individualistic and support less redistribution by the government ; (ii) the higher the number of mines in a states, the lower the support for governmental redistribution and the higher the individualism ; (iii) individuals that experienced mineral discoveries during their early adulthood are more individualistic and support less redistribution ; (iv) this effect vanishes over time. These results are robust to the introduction of various explanatory variables that may explain the formation of individualistic values.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Couttenier & Marc Sangnier, 2010. "Living in the garden of Eden: Mineral resources foster individualism," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564920, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564920
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00564920
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Couttenier, Mathieu & Sangnier, Marc, 2015. "Living in the Garden of Eden: Mineral resources and preferences for redistribution," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 243-256.
    2. Abel Brodeur & Joanne Haddad, 2018. "Institutions, Attitudes and LGBT: Evidence from the Gold Rush," Working Papers 1808E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    3. Couttenier, Mathieu & Sangnier, Marc, 2015. "Living in the Garden of Eden: Mineral resources and preferences for redistribution," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 243-256.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    natural resources; individualism; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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