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Left in the Dark? Oil and Rural Poverty

Brock Smith () and Samuel Wills ()

No 164, OxCarre Working Papers from Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford

Abstract: Do oil booms reduce rural poverty and inequality? To study this we measure rural poverty by counting people that live in darkness at night: combining high-resolution global satellite data on night-time lights and population from 2000-2013. We develop a measure that accurately identifies 74% of households as above or below the extreme poverty line when compared to over 600,000 household surveys. We find that both high oil prices and new discoveries increase illumination and GDP nationally. However, they also promote regional inequality because the increases are limited to towns and cities with no evidence that they benefit the rural poor.

Keywords: oil; rural poverty; poverty measurement; regional inequality; night-time lights; urbanization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 E01 O11 O13 O47 Q32 Q33 Q43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-10-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene
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Journal Article: Left in the Dark? Oil and Rural Poverty (2018) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:164

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