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Economic implications of long distance commuting in the Chilean mining industry

By Patricio Aroca and Miguel Atienza

Abstract

More than 10% of the labor force that works in Antofagasta lives in other regions, commuting on average more than 800 km in a shift system that allows working several days in a row followed by several days off. The mining industry is the main contractor of such workers and the impact of the process spreads through the rest of the Chilean territory. Using an input-output approach, this paper shows that a significant amount of resources generated by the mining industries in the Region of Antofagasta goes to other regions in wages earned by commuters who have decided to work in this region but live in another. The commuting process seems to be driven by centripetal forces that support centralization, thus arguing for regional policies to promote the attractiveness of the peripheral regions.Long distance commuting Spillover by labor commuting Labor commuting impact

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