Discussions on mine decline and closure primarily focus on the economic impacts. There is limited empirical evidence of the actual distributional impacts, particularly of policy responses designed to address them. The authors conduct a systemic analysis of literature on past mine closures and declines to evaluate the potential distributional impacts of the transitions and of their common policy responses.
The authors largely focus on the distributional impacts (social, economic, and political) in relation to gender and age. They find the economic decline disrupted traditional gender norms for women and especially affected young people seeking to enter the job market, often resulting in disenchantment and migration. They also examine how distributional impacts can emerge from programs designed to restore jobs, rehabilitate the socioeconomic conditions of mining communities, and prevent out-migration. Based on these findings, they provide general recommendations and considerations for future policies.