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Local Economic Impacts of Coal Mining in the United States 1870 to 1970

  • Mike Matheis (a1)
Abstract

This article expands upon the current “resource curse” literature by using newly collected county data, spanning over a century, to capture the short- and long-run effects of coal mining activity. It provides evidence that increased levels of coal production had positive net impacts on county-level population and manufacturing activity over an initial ten-year span, which become negative over the subsequent decades. The results provide evidence that any existence of a “resource curse” on local areas due to coal mining is a long-run phenomenon, and in the short run there are potential net benefits.

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Footnotes
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The author would like to thank Price Fishback, Ashley Langer, Derek Lemoine, Jessamyn Schaller, Carl Kitchens, Taylor Jaworski, Theresa Gutberlet, Paul Rhode, Environmental Economics Group members, Clio 2014 participants, and many, many others for their comments and suggestions. I would like to especially recognize the contributions of two anonymous referees, whose comments and suggestions significantly enhanced the paper. I also especially want to thank Eli Johnson and Cody Melcher for their unbelievable work converting historical mining data from pdf documents into spreadsheets. All errors and omissions are my own.

Footnotes
References
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The Journal of Economic History
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