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How Specialized is “too” Specialized? Outmigration and Industry Diversification in Nonmetropolitan Counties across America

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  • Jackson, Ashley
  • Whitacre, Brian E.
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    Abstract

    Outmigration and industrial composition have separately been the focal points of a significant amount of research related to nonmetropolitan counties; however, few (if any) studies have explicitly looked at the relationship between the two topics. The primary objective of this research is to identify what industry specialization level is “too” specialized with regards to outmigration – that is, to determine the level where specialization begins to have a damaging effect on population change. County-level data from a variety of sources is used to explore the impact of both earnings-based and employment-based definitions of specialization on net migration in nonmetropolitan counties from 2000 – 2009. Two distinct techniques (ordinary least squares and average treatment effects) are then used to assess both the impact and causality of being “too specialized.” The results suggest that a variety of specialization thresholds exist across various industries, including some surprising positive influences of industry composition on migration rates.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/119739
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama with number 119739.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:saea12:119739

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    Keywords: Outmigration; Nonmetropolitan; Industrial Specialization; Industrial Diversification; Community/Rural/Urban Development;

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    1. Richard Bilsborrow & Thomas McDevitt & Sherrie Kossoudji & Richard Fuller, 1987. "The impact of origin community characteristics on rural-urban out-migration in a developing country," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 191-210, May.
    2. Kenneth Johnson & Paul Voss & Roger Hammer & Glenn Fuguitt & Scott Mcniven, 2005. "Temporal and spatial variation in age-specific net migration in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 791-812, November.
    3. Edward Nissan & George Carter, 2006. "The measurement of employment diversity for states and regions," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 186-197, June.
    4. Smith, Stephen M. & Gibson, Cosette M., 1988. "Industrial Diversification In Nonmetropolitan Counties And Its Effect On Economic Stability," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 13(02), December.
    5. Mahasuweerachai, Phumsith & Whitacre, Brian E. & Shideler, Dave W., 2010. "Does Broadband Access Impact Migration in America? Examining Differences between Rural and Urban Areas," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 40(1), pages 5-26.
    6. Diamond, Charles A & Simon, Curtis J, 1990. "Industrial Specialization and the Returns to Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 175-201, April.
    7. Attaran, Mohsen, 1986. "Industrial Diversity and Economic Performance in U.S. Areas," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 44-54, July.
    8. McGranahan, David A. & Cromartie, John & Wojan, Timothy R., 2010. "The Two Faces of Rural Population Loss Through Outmigration," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, December.
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