Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Spatial Effects of ‘Mill’ Closures:Does Distance Matter?


Author Info

  • Arthur Grimes

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Chris Young

    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)


When small towns experience a major infrastructure shock, such as a ‘mill’ closure, the effects can be devastating. We analyse the effects of two major freezing works closures in New Zealand, in Patea (1982) and Whakatu (1986). These two examples provide an interesting comparison: Whakatu is located close to a city, while Patea is relatively isolated. We describe the impacts of these shocks on population, employment and house values in each town, relative to two sets of comparators. These descriptions allow us to contrast long-run trends and adjustment dynamics resulting from the differing locations of both towns. We find that both towns experience negative population and employment impacts; however, consistent with benefits of a near-city location, the effects on Whakatu are mainly temporary, whereas the effects on Patea are more permanent. Population age-groups respond very differently to the shocks, in ways that are consistent with homeownership being a factor stifling migration responsiveness in the face of a shock. The results have implications for regional development policy choices with respect to infrastructure location and also for programmes designed to stimulate homeownership.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 09_12.

as in new window
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_12

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Level1, 93 Cuba Street, P.O. Box 24390, Wellington
Phone: 64-4-939-4250
Fax: 64-4-939-4251
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Mill closures; rural infrastructure; homeownership;

Find related papers by JEL classification:


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.



This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:09_12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tui Head).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.