The extraction and export of minerals spurs economic development

By Olof Löf and Magnus Ericsson

In several low- and middle-income countries with important extractive sectors, mining makes significant contributions to national economic and social development. Mineral-rich countries also develop faster than countries with few known mineral resources. These facts are based on results from a study within the framework of the United Nations University (UNU) World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) initiative, Extractives for Development. The results of this survey contradict the widespread view that mineral resources create a dependency that might not be conducive to economic and social development. The study has been updated and now includes socioeconomic factors. One conclusion is that mining countries perform better than oil countries and non-mineral countries in human development and governance.
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