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The Economics of Ghost Towns

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Author Info

  • Graves, Philip E.
  • Weiler, Stephan
  • Tynon, Emily Elizabeth

Abstract

The ghost towns of the American West are both intriguing historical artifacts and reflec-tions of unique economic forces at work. In this study we develop linked labor and housing market models balancing the wages, rents, and local amenities of isolated boomtown sites to better understand the sources of such communities’ dramatic cycles. High variance boom-towns provide a unique context for investment in housing and other foundational infrastruc-ture, leading directly to the unusually transient local development patterns seen in ghost town settings. We use Colorado-based case studies to illustrate the relevance of the model. Comparisons with more modern rural settings in Appalachia and the Midwest suggest that the model provides a framework to better understand the process of rural decline more generally.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/132433
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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): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:jrapmc:132433

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Related research

Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development;

References

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  1. 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.
  2. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  3. Mueser Peter R. & Graves Philip E., 1995. "Examining the Role of Economic Opportunity and Amenities in Explaining Population Redistribution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 176-200, March.
  4. Roback, Jennifer, 1988. "Wages, Rents, and Amenities: Differences among Workers and Regions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 23-41, January.
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