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Mining, Pollution and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Ghana

Most modern mines in the developing world are located in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of livelihood. This creates the potential of negative spillovers to farmers through competition for key inputs (such as land) and environmental pollution. To explore this issue, we examine the case of gold mining in Ghana. Through the estimation of an agricultural production function using household level data, we find that mining has reduced agricultural productivity by almost 40%. This result is driven by polluting mines, not by input availability. Because of its crowding out effects on agriculture, we find that the mining activity is associated with an increase in poverty, child malnutrition and respiratory diseases. A simple cost-benefit analysis shows that the fiscal contribution of mining would not have been enough to compensate affected populations.

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File URL: http://www.sfu.ca/econ-research/RePEc/sfu/sfudps/dp12-08.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp12-08.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp12-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone: (778)782-3508
Fax: (778)782-5944
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html
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Order Information: Postal: Working Paper Coordinator, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
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  1. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3125, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Michael Greenstone & Rema Hanna, 2011. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," NBER Working Papers 17210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Institutions and the resource curse," Development and Comp Systems 0210003, EconWPA.
  4. Vicente, Pedro C., 2010. "Does oil corrupt? Evidence from a natural experiment in West Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 28-38, May.
  5. Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini, 2013. "The Political Resource Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1759-96, August.
  6. Fernando M. Arag?n & Juan Pablo Rud, 2013. "Natural Resources and Local Communities: Evidence from a Peruvian Gold Mine," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-25, May.
  7. Francesco Caselli & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 208-38, January.
  8. Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Matthew J. Neidell, 2011. "The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity," NBER Working Papers 17004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2011. "The Effect of Pollution on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Mexico City," NBER Working Papers 17302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Seema Jayachandran, 2008. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia's Wildfires," NBER Working Papers 14011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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