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
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences