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An Analysis of the Role of Self-Employment in the Economic Development of the Rural Northeastern United States


Author Info

  • Saima Bashir

    (Department of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Tesfa Gebremedhin

    (Department of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Jerald Fletcher

    (Department of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

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    Generating employment and alleviating poverty are the biggest challenges for regional economic growth in rural areas of the Northeastern United States. Despite the revival of the economy in much of the nation’s heartland, rural areas are still suffering from high poverty and unemployment rates. Self-employment, a measure of entrepreneurship, indicates an opportunity for rural communities to improve quality of life and accelerate regional economic development. Taking into consideration the problem of unemployment in rural communities, there is a need to focus on generating self-employment opportunities at micro level to enhance economic growth and reduce the per capita income ‘gap’ between rural and urban areas. The overall objective of the study is to identify and estimate the impacts of self-employment in the economic development of the Northeastern United States. The empirical model of this study is derived from the three-equation simultaneous model of Deller et al., (2011). The study estimated the relationship of employment, population and per capita income to self-employment. Research findings show that employment and population have a positive relationship to self-employment indicating positive contribution of self-employment to regional economic development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 201105.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: May 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rri:wpaper:201105

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    Related research

    Keywords: self-employment; economic development; rural northeast region; simultaneous analysis;

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    1. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Spatial Disparities: Divisions and Changes of Self-employment and Firms," MPRA Paper 19245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fairlie, Robert W. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2006. "Mexican Entrepreneurship: A Comparison of Self-Employment in Mexico and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 2039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
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