Foreign Policy has a great article on the effect of mining (principally coal, but also iron and other metals) on two of India's poorest states, especially in fueling the ongoing Maoist / "Naxalite" rebellion. There's a couple of things that are pretty interesting in the article
- This is a pretty strictly regional "resource curse" dynamic. Normally one is taught to think of the resource curse operating on national levels (Dutch Disease, kleptocrat dictators, etc.) but it's interesting to see that that need not be the case. That made me appreciate how much the political economy and power dynamics in Appalachia are really just a developed-country, regional resource curse.
- Who knew India had that much coal? A classic "folk empirical result," if you will, of geographically-inclined development economists is that the countries which prospered during the industrial revolution had huge coal reserves. Not that China doesn't, too, but still: India? I clearly need to read more
- Calling the Maoist rebels "Naxalites" is apparently not accurate, which is interesting to hear since I've heard that term used by multiple people in the past few years.
- "If you want to be somebody in Jharkand, just kill an aid worker" manages to pack so much of the troubles of development work into so few words that it should count as haiku.