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Does Agriculture Generate Local Economic Spillovers? Short-Run and Long-Run Evidence from the Ogallala Aquifer

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  • Richard Hornbeck
  • Pinar Keskin

Abstract

Agriculture may support the local nonagricultural economy in rural areas, though agricultural expansion may also crowd-out nonagricultural activity. On the United States Plains, areas over the Ogallala aquifer experienced windfall agricultural gains when post WWII technologies increased farmers' access to groundwater. Comparing counties over the Ogallala with similar counties, nonagricultural sectors experienced only short-run relative benefits. Despite substantial and persistent agricultural gains, there was no long run relative expansion of nonagricultural sectors in Ogallala counties. Agricultural development may still encourage regional or national nonagricultural development, but agriculture does not appear to generate local economic spillovers that differentially encourage local nonagricultural activity. (JEL Q12, Q15, Q18, Q25, R11)

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Hornbeck & Pinar Keskin, 2015. "Does Agriculture Generate Local Economic Spillovers? Short-Run and Long-Run Evidence from the Ogallala Aquifer," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 192-213, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:192-213
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20130077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Carillo, Mario Francesco, 2018. "Agricultural policy and long-run development: evidence from Mussolini's Battle for Grain," MPRA Paper 88941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Timothy Komarek & Scott Loveridge, 2015. "Firm Sizes And Economic Development: Estimating Long-Term Effects On U.S. County Growth, 1990–2000," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 262-279, March.
    4. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:72:y:2018:i:2:a:61201 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Grimes, Arthur & Hyland, Sean, 2013. "Passing the Buck: Impacts of Commodity Price Shocks on Local Outcomes," Motu Working Papers 291382, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    7. Jonathan Colmer, 2018. "Weather, Labor Reallocation and Industrial Production: Evidence from India," CEP Discussion Papers dp1544, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Ram Fishman & Meha Jain & Avinash Kishore, 2013. "Patterns of Migration, Water Scarcity and Caste in Rural Northern Gujarat," Working Papers id:5400, eSocialSciences.
    9. Ryan Edwards, 2015. "Is plantation agriculture good for the poor? Evidence from Indonesia's palm oil expansion," Departmental Working Papers 2015-12, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    10. Santangelo, G., 2019. "Firms and Farms: The Local Effects of Farm Income on Firms’ Demand," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1924, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    11. Samuel Marden, 2016. "The agricultural roots of industrial development: ‘forward linkages’ in reform era China," Working Paper Series 09116, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    12. Paula Bustos & Bruno Caprettini & Jacopo Ponticelli, 2016. "Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1320-1365, June.
    13. repec:eee:jeeman:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:150-165 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Loughrey, Jason & O’Donoghue, Cathal & Meredith, David & Murphy, Ger & Shanahan, Ultan & Miller, Corina, 2018. "The Local Impact of Cattle Farming," 166th Seminar, August 30-31, 2018, Galway, West of Ireland 276231, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Martin Fiszbein, 2017. "Agricultural Diversity, Structural Change and Long-run Development: Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 23183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Alain de JANVRY & Elisabeth SADOULET & Manzoor DAR & Kyle EMERICK, 2016. "The Agricultural Technology Adoption Puzzle: What Can We Learn From Field Experiments?," Working Papers P178, FERDI.
    17. Severnini, Edson R., 2014. "The Power of Hydroelectric Dams: Agglomeration Spillovers," IZA Discussion Papers 8082, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Colmer, Jonathan, 2018. "Weather, labor reallocation and industrial production: evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88695, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Lewis, Joshua & Severnini, Edson R., 2017. "Short- and Long-Run Impacts of Rural Electrification: Evidence from the Historical Rollout of the U.S. Power Grid," IZA Discussion Papers 11243, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Ray D. Bollman & Shon M. Ferguson, 2019. "The Local Impacts of Agricultural Subsidies: Evidence from the Canadian Prairies," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 507-528, June.
    21. Grimes, Arthur & Hyland, Sean, 2013. "Passing the Buck: Impacts of Commodity Price Shocks on Local Outcomes," Motu Working Papers 189522, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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