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The gold digger and the machine. Evidence on the distributive effect of the artisanal and industrial gold rushes in Burkina Faso

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  • Rémi BAZILLIER
  • Victoire GIRARD

Abstract

This paper uses a quasi-natural experiment, the recent gold boom in Burkina Faso, to document the local impact of two alternative mining techniques: artisanal and industrial mining. Artisanal mines have a bad reputation. When these mines (labor intensive and managed in common) compete for land with industrial mines (capital intensive and privatized), governments tend to favor the latter. However, more than 100 million people depend on artisanal mines for a livelihood. Our identification strategy exploits two sources of variation. The spatial variation comes from the exposure of households to different geological endowments, and the temporal variation comes from changes in the global gold price. We are the first to document the economic impact of artisanal mines. We show that a 1% increase in the gold price increases consumption by 0.12% for households near artisanal mines. Opening an industrial mine, in contrast, has no impact on local consumption.
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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:leo:wpaper:2545
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    9. Stoop, Nik & Verpoorten, Marijke & van der Windt, Peter, 2019. "Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 660-674.
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    11. Vincent Géronimi & Claire Mainguy, 2020. "Exploitation minière et développement : des effets toujours controversés. Introduction," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 7-29.
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    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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