Comparative Study of Factors Affecting Public Acceptance of Mining Projects: Evidence from USA, China and Turkey


Discrete choice theory has been shown to be a viable way to study individual preferences for resource development. However, only a limited amount of literature assesses the effect of culture, socio-economic, historical, and regulatory factors on the classification of factors that are important to individual preferences for resource development used in designing valid discrete choice experiments. This work seeks to assess differences in the levels of importance among the determinants of public acceptance of mining projects due to differences in cultural, regulatory, socio-economic, and historical contexts. This will be accomplished by comparing the levels of importance as reported by respondents in the United States, China and Turkey.

We used the same survey in the three countries to: (1) validate in China and Turkey the classification of mining project characteristics identified by previous research in the United States; (2) verify the key demographic factors that can be used to explain individual preferences relating to project characteristics in China and Turkey; and (3) compare the differences between attitudes of respondents from mining communities in the United States, China and Turkey. The median ranking of all 16 project characteristics was higher than the midpoint ranking (neither important nor unimportant), verifying that this classification of factors were valid in the three countries. Age, gender, income, education, and number of children were related to the respondents' rankings of the importance of the mining project characteristics. We observed several differences in the rankings that can be attributed to the differences in culture, socio-economics, and historical and regulatory context and found that the level of development and national culture played a moderating role in the effect of demographics on the respondents' rankings. These results provide insights for those designing discrete choice experiments and other instruments for facilitating mining community engagement in cross-cultural settings.


Mining Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Cross-cultural comparison; Environmental attitudes; Mining community engagement; Public acceptance

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2019