Copper mining in Chile and its regional employment linkages

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This article gauges employment interactions among different economic sectors of relevant copper-producing regions in Chile, such as Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, and O′Higgins. To that end, concordance measures of employment during peaks and troughs, and rolling correlations are computed. The estimation results show that the strength of employment co-movement of mining & quarrying with other economic sectors—within a given region and across regions —varies among the geographic locations under analysis. In particular, employment linkages between the Antofagasta and Metropolitan Regions have weakened over time. In addition, this article provides background information on the world copper market and Chile's mining sector. In particular, time series of copper production and labor productivity of private and state-owned mining firms operating in Chile are presented. Specifically, historical figures show that falling ore grades have had as a counterpart an increase in electricity costs per metric ton of refined copper during 2001–2015. This is specially the case for concentrator plants, which experienced an 87.1%-increase in electricity costs during that time period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101173
JournalResources Policy
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Concordance
  • Employment co-movement
  • Labor productivity


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