Home Institution

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

Chile: Economic Development and Globalization


Copper fuels the Chilean economy more than any other good or sector. But despite being Chile’s greatest resource, copper does very little for the average Chilean because most of the benefits are captured by mining companies and the government. Furthermore, the copper producing sector is volatile, subject to variations in the world price of copper, and not sustainable, as it depends on a nonrenewable natural resource. This paper establishes that there is room to deepen the copper sector with the goal of creating jobs and making the copper sector in Chile more sustainable and less volatile. This idea that there are opportunities to create even more economic benefits through the copper sector – what we will call “value added” – is generally accepted, as demonstrated by interviews with experts from across the philosophical spectrum. But beyond this consensus, we will see two currents of thought about how to take greater advantage of the country’s copper for the benefit of Chileans. This paper evaluates these currents and presents public policies to add value to the Chilean copper sector.


Economics | Growth and Development | Latin American Studies


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