The Local Economic Impacts of Natural Resource Extraction

J. Cust, S. Poelhekke

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Whether it is fair to characterize natural resource wealth as a curse is still debated. Most of the evidence derives from cross-country analyses, providing cases both for and against a potential resource curse. Scholars are increasingly turning to within-country evidence to deepen our understanding of the potential drivers, and outcomes, of resource wealth effects. Moving away from cross-country studies offers new perspectives on the resource curse debate and can help overcome concerns regarding endogeneity. Therefore, scholars are leveraging datasets that provide greater disaggregation of economic responses and exogenous identification of impacts. This article surveys the literature on these studies of local and regional effects of natural resource extraction. We discuss data availability and quality, recent advances in methodological tools, and the main findings of several research areas. These areas include the direct impact of natural resource production on local labor markets and welfare, the effects of government spending channels resulting from mining revenue, and regional spillovers. Finally, we take stock of the state of the literature and provide suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-268
JournalAnnual Review of Resource Economics
Issue numberOctober
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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