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Persistent Pockets Of Extreme American Poverty: People Or Place Based?


Author Info

  • Partridge, Mark D.
  • Rickman, Dan S.


Over the past four decades almost 400 U.S. counties have persistently had poverty rates in excess of 20 percent. These counties are generally characterized by weak economies and disadvantaged populations. This raises the hotly debated question of whether poverty-reducing policies should be directed more at helping people or helping the places where they reside. Using a variety of regression approaches, including geographically weighted regression analysis, we consistently find that local job growth especially reduces poverty in persistent-poverty counties. We also find that persistent-poverty counties do not respond more sluggishly to exogenous shocks, nor do they experience more adverse spillover effects from their neighboring counties. Finally, we identify some key geographic differences in the poverty determining mechanism among persistent-poverty clusters. Taken together, these results indicate that place-based economic development has a potential role for reducing poverty in these counties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC) in its series Working Papers with number 18907.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:osruwp:18907

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Related research

Keywords: poverty; persistent poverty; economic development policies; place-based policies; Food Security and Poverty;


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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Weinberg, 2005. "Poverty Estimates for Places in the United States," Working Papers 05-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Weber, Bruce A., . "Rural Poverty: Why Should States Care and What Can State Policy Do?," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association.
  3. Stephen Matthews & Tse-Chuan Yang, 2012. "Mapping the results of local statistics," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(6), pages 151-166, March.


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