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Youth Out-Migration from Pennsylvania: The Roles of Government Fragmentation vs. the Beaten Path Effect

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  • Grassmueck, Georg
  • Goetz, Stephan J.
  • Shields, Martin
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    Abstract

    The authors of a recent Brookings report argue that Pennsylvania’s lackluster economic performance, including a high rate of loss of young residents (age 25-34), is partly due to fragmented local units of government hindering comprehensive and regional approaches to stimulating economic growth. This assertion is based on casual inference rather than rigorous statistical analysis. In the present study we employ a newly-developed measure of state/county government fragmentation in a county-level econometric migration model to test the Brookings assertion formally. After examining and controlling for the complete set of fac-tors identified from previous studies to motivate youth out-migration, we conclude that government fragmentation acts to keep youth in Pennsylvania rather than drive them out. We conclude that calls for consolidating sub-county government units based on young migration are premature and offer a number of explanations for our finding along with policy implications.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Mid-Continent Regional Science Association in its journal Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:jrapmc:132346

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    Keywords: Public Economics;

    References

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    1. Randall W. Eberts & Timothy J. Gronberg, 1988. "Can competition among local governments constrain government spending?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 2-9.
    2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
    3. McGranahan, David A., 1999. "Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change," Agricultural Economics Reports 33955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. John Carruthers, 2003. "Growth at the fringe: The influence of political fragmentation in United States metropolitan areas," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 475-499, November.
    5. Zax, Jeffrey S, 1989. "Is There a Leviathan in Your Neighborhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 560-67, June.
    6. John I. Carruthers, 2002. "Fragmentation and Sprawl: Evidence from Interregional Analysis," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 33(3), pages 312-340.
    7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    8. Oates, Wallace E, 1981. "On Local Finance and the Tiebout Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 93-98, May.
    9. Rupasingha, Anil & Goetz, Stephan J., 2004. "County Amenities and Net Migration," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 33(2), October.
    10. John Carruthers, 2003. "Growth at the fringe: The influence of political fragmentation in United States metropolitan areas," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 475-499, November.
    11. Graves, Philip E., 1979. "A life-cycle empirical analysis of migration and climate, by race," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 135-147, April.
    12. Steven C. Deller & Tsung-Hsiu (Sue) Tsai & David W. Marcouiller & Donald B.K. English, 2001. "The Role of Amenities and Quality of Life In Rural Economic Growth," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(2), pages 352-365.
    13. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mark D., Partridge & M. Rose, Olfert, 2010. "The Winner's Choice: Sustainable Economic Strategies for Successful 21st Century Regions," MPRA Paper 29646, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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