Ruthless exploitation, environmental disasters and refugees. That is a common narrative of the consequences of the extraction of natural resources in Africa. A new dissertation from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg gives a more nuanced picture. Stronger labor market participation for women, more gender equality and halving infant death are also part of the recent expansion of mining in Africa.
“There are, of course, lots of problems with extractive industries – oil, natural gas and mineral mining – in Africa. But I have explored welfare determinants at local level, such as labor markets and measures of equality. The results paint a new, and partly surprising picture” says economist Anja Tolonen.
Anja Tolonen, PhD
University of Gothenburg
The dissertation contains some of the first large empirical studies done on the topic. One study explores women’s access to employment in mining areas using data on half a million women and 900 large mines across the continent.
“The opening of a new mine generates new jobs within the service sector. It can be, for example, restaurants or transportation. We see that women leave subsistence farming and start earning cash. But we also see that the effects are temporary – when the mine closes, the jobs disappear.”
In a specific study of gold mines in countries such as Ghana, Mali and Tanzania, the welfare effects have been explored in more detail. The results show that women have better access to health care when the mines are established. In part, this is explained by increased supply of health care locally, but also because women’s autonomy increases.
“We see several signs that norms change with the local economic development. Domestic violence is much less accepted by women in the studied mining areas” says Tolonen.
Moreover, infant mortality decreases drastically. Extremely high infant mortality is not uncommon in the countries in the study: 10 to 15 percent of children do not survive their first year of life. However, in the mining areas, the infant mortality rates halves.
“Even if there are environmental and health risks involved, such as the emission of toxins, it seems like the economic development and welfare effects brought by the mines offset the potential negative consequences.”
The thesis “Mining Booms in Africa and Local Welfare Effects: Labor Markets, Women’s Empowerment and Criminality” was defended on May 29th, 2015.
The Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.
Read the thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/38780
Anja Tolonen, PhD
Phone: + 46 (0) 31 786 1264
Henrik Axlid | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology