Mining and developing nations: does mining contribute to socioeconomic development?

Michael Huehne


The hypothesis that an active mining industry results in decreased economic benefits to developing countries has often been supported by the theory commonly referred to as the Resource Curse. Data from the World Bank provides some support to the argument that there is a negative relationship between natural resource exploitation and economic development, but more recently it appears this relationship does not hold true. With the advent of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development there is increasing evidence that affirms an alternate hypothesis; that an active mining industry results in increased socioeconomic benefits to developing countries. In order to test this hypothesis this study relies on analysis of macroeconomic data primarily obtained from the World Bank, and in order to analyse measures relating to social development and welfare, examination of alternative measures using the United Nations’ Human Development Index and Millennium Development Goals. Investigation, using a sub-group of sub-Saharan developing countries as the sample selection, supports the alternative hypothesis.

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