M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 126

Oyu Tolgoi: Impacts of Mining on Economic Outcomes in Mongolia

Winner of the 2019 Enel Endowment Prize for the Best Senior Thesis or Undergraduate Paper

Andy Zhou



This paper represents an analysis of the impacts of Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper mine on various first and second-order outcomes in the mine's province, Umnogovi. These outcomes include infrastructure, health, education, and income metrics at the individual and household levels. Findings are mixed: relative to the control group, residents of the mine's province exhibit a decrease in overall health and respiratory problems, increase in centralized water infrastructure and spending on medical treatment, increases in rates of treatment sought and vocational education, and increases in wages, remittance, and labor hours. Concurrently, the mine's province is also associated with a relative increase in digestive problems, slower growth rates in the number of internet users, a decrease in secondary education completion rates amongst 18 to 20-year-olds, and an increase in the number of children under 12 without any formal education.

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