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Do Canadian Mining Firms Behave Worse Than Other Companies? Quantitative Evidence from Latin America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 April 2018

Paul Alexander Haslam*
University of Ottawa
Nasser Ary Tanimoune*
University of Ottawa
Zarlasht M. Razeq*
McGill University
School of International Development and Global Studies, FSS Building, Office 8039, 120 University Private, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON K1N 6N5, email:
School of International Development and Global Studies, FSS Building, Office 8024, 120 University Private, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON K1N 6N5, email:
Department of Political Science, McGill University, Leacock Building, Room 414, 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7, email:


The effects of Canadian mining companies on local communities abroad is an increasingly contentious topic as activists and academics, citing case studies, have drawn attention to alleged problems. Despite the policy relevance of this issue, there have been no generalizable analyses of whether mining companies headquartered in Canada behave differently from mining firms headquartered in other countries. This paper conducts the first rigorous statistical analysis of the effect of country of origin, or more specifically, “being Canadian,” on the occurrence of known social conflicts in Latin America. We use an original database of 634 mining properties in five Latin American countries, which allows us to differentiate between a country-of-origin effect and other probable determinants of social conflict in communities near mining properties. We find that Canadian mining firms perform slightly better than other foreign firms, but worse than locally owned firms.


Les effets des sociétés minières canadiennes sur les collectivités locales à l'étranger sont un sujet de plus en plus controversé, car les activistes et les universitaires, études de cas à l'appui, ont attiré l'attention sur les problèmes allégués. Malgré la pertinence de cette question sur le plan politique, aucune analyse généralisable n'a encore permis de déterminer si les sociétés minières ayant leur siège social au Canada se comportent différemment des sociétés minières basées dans d'autres pays. Le présent article effectue la première analyse statistique rigoureuse de l'effet du pays d'origine, ou plus précisément, de ce que signifie « être Canadien » sur l'occurrence de conflits sociaux connus en Amérique latine. Nous utilisons une base de données originale de 634 propriétés minières dans cinq pays d'Amérique latine, ce qui nous permet de faire la distinction entre l'effet d'un pays d'origine et d'autres déterminants probables de conflits sociaux dans les collectivités limitrophes des propriétés minières. Nous constatons que les sociétés minières canadiennes se comportent légèrement mieux que d'autres sociétés étrangères, mais pire que des sociétés minières locales.

Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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This research project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, Grant # 410-2009-0950.


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