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Keywords:

  • O180;
  • O21;
  • R51
  • Northern Australia;
  • inequality;
  • indigenous;
  • economic development;
  • input-output;
  • multipliers

Abstract

This empirical study explores financial links between indigenous and non-indigenous economic systems in a remote river catchment in Northern Australia (the Mitchell). It finds evidence of a profound and asymmetric ‘disconnect’ between these economies: an exogenous increase in indigenous incomes raises the incomes of non-indigenous people, but the reverse is not true. Evidently, those seeking to improve the incomes of indigenous people in Northern Australia cannot simply seek to (i) increase payments to indigenous people, or (ii) expand the non-indigenous sector hoping that some benefits will ‘trickle down’. Instead, structural change is required.