Partridge, Mark and Betz, Mike and Lobao, Linda (2012): Natural Resource Curse and Poverty in Appalachian America.
Download (623kB) | Preview
The Appalachian mountain region has long been characterized by deep poverty which led to the formation of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in 1965. The ARC region covers West Virginia and parts of 12 other states, running from New York to Mississippi (Ziliak 2012). The ARC region had an average county poverty rate of over 40 percent in 1960, about double the national average (Deaton and Niman 2012; Ziliak 2012). While the poverty gap between the ARC region and the rest of the nation closed significantly by 1990, it remained nearly twice as large in Central Appalachia. There are many reasons for higher poverty in Appalachia in general and Central Appalachia in particular. Possible causes include a low-paying industry structure, below average education, low household mobility, and remoteness from to cities (Weber et al. 2005; Partridge and Rickman 2005; Lobao 2004). A key distinction between Central Appalachia and the rest of the ARC region is its historic dependence on coal mining. There is long literature arguing that the area’s dependence on coal mining has contributed to its deep poverty through weaker local governance, entrepreneurship, and educational attainment, as well as degrading the environment, poor health outcomes, and limitations on other economic opportunities (Deaton and Niman 2012; James and Aadland 2011). These factors are broadly associated with the natural resources curse in the international development literature. More recently, the process of mountain top mining (MTM) has expanded coal mining’s environmental footprint in the region, possibly increasing health risks and further reducing the chances for long-term amenity-led growth that can alleviate poverty (Deller 2010; Woods and Gordon 2011). This study reinvestigates the causes of county poverty rates in Appalachia with a special focus on coal mining’s role. Using data over the 1990-2010 period we assess whether coal mining continues to have a positive association with poverty rates, even as the industry’s relative size has declined. We also appraise whether MTM is associated with higher poverty. We do this by comparing the ARC region to the rest of the U.S. and by using more disaggregated employment data that allows us to differentiate the effects of coal mining from other mining (versus aggregating all mining together as in past research). The results suggest that any potential adverse effects of coal mining on poverty have declined over time. Below, we first develop an empirical model followed by the empirical results. The final section provides our concluding thoughts.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Natural Resource Curse and Poverty in Appalachian America|
|Keywords:||natural resource curse, poverty, Appalachia|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
|Depositing User:||Mark D. Partridge|
|Date Deposited:||23. Apr 2012 10:58|
|Last Modified:||11. Feb 2013 19:54|
Black, D., T. McKinnish, and S. Sanders. 2005. “The Economic Impact of the Coal Boom and Bust.” Economic Journal. 115:449-476. 11.
Deaton, B.J. and E.Niman. 2012. “An Empirical Examination of the Relationship between Mining Employment and Poverty in the Appalachian Region.” Applied Economics 44:303-312
Deller, S. 2010. “Rural Poverty, Tourism, and Spatial Heterogeneity.” Annals of Tourism Research 37:180-205.
Dorfman, J., M. D. Partridge, and H. Galloway. 2011. “Are High-tech Employment and Natural Amenities Linked: Answers from a Smoothed Bayesian Spatial Model.” Spatial Economic Analysis 6:397-422.
Hendryx, M. 2011. “Poverty and Mortality Disparities in Central Appalachia: Mountaintop Mining and Environmental Justice.” Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice 4:44-53.
James, A. and D. Aadland. 2011. “The Curse of Natural Resources: An Empirical Investigation of U.S. Counties.” Resource and Energy Economics 33:440-453.
Levernier, W., M.D. Partridge, and D.S. Rickman .2000. “The Causes of Regional Variations in U.S. Poverty: A Cross-County Analysis.” Journal of Regional Science 40:473–498.
Lobao, L. 2004. “Spatial Inequality: Continuity and Change in Territorial Stratification Processes.” Rural Sociology 69:1-30.
McAuley, S.D. and M.D. Kozar. 2006. “Ground-Water Quality in Un-Mined Areas and Near Reclaimed Surface Coal Mines in the Northern and Central Appalachian Coal Regions, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.” Scientific Investigations Report, US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey, pp. 2006–5059. 12
Papyrakis, E. and R.Gerlagh .2007. “Resource Abundance and Economic Growth in the U.S.” European Economic Review 51:1011-1039.
Partridge, M.D. and D.S. Rickman. 2008. “Distance from Urban Agglomeration Economies and Rural Poverty.” Journal of Regional Science 48:285-310.
Partridge, M.D. and D.S. Rickman. 2005. “Persistent High-Poverty in Nonmetropolitan America: Can Economic Development Help?” International Regional Science Review 28:415–440.
Skytruth. 2009. “Mountaintop Removal Mining. Part 1: Measuring the Extent of Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia.” Available at: /http://blog.skytruth.org/2009/12/measuring-mountaintop-removal-mining-in.htmlS (accessed December 2011).
U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration. 2010. “Effects of Blasting on Air Quality.” www.msha.gov/illness_prevention/healthtopics/blasting.htm (accessed December 2011).
Weber, B., L. Jensen, K. Miller, J. Mosley, and M. Fisher. 2005. "A Critical Review of Rural Poverty Literature: Is There Truly a Rural Effect?" International Regional Science Review 28:381-414.
Woods, B.R. and J.S. Gordon. 2011. “Mountaintop Removal and Job Creation: Exploring the Relationship Using Spatial Regression.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101:806-815.
Ziliak, J.P. 2012. "The Appalachian Regional Development Act and Economic Change." In J.P. Ziliak, ed. Appalachian Legacy: Economic Opportunity after the War on Poverty. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, pp.19-44.