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Impact of Retirees on Rural Development: Some Observations from the South of France


  • Vollet, Dominique
  • Roussel, Veronique
  • Callois, Jean-Marc


Retirees represent a strategic issue for rural areas as their numbers grow in proportion to the total population. In order to assess their impact on economic development, a hybrid model, a mixture of Keynesian and economic base theories, was constructed. It was applied to three communities of the South of France. The model was adapted to estimate the impact of a particularly heterogeneous populations (retirees aging in place, short-distance and longdistance retirees) on their community. To this end, one hundred surveys were carried out with retiree households in order to understand their spatial spending behaviour. We found that the economic impact of retirees differs according to the type of retiree, their numbers and the degree of economic integration of the area. The differences between communities in terms of economic impact of retirees highlight three factors: (1) the role of natural or manmade amenities in retirees’ location choice, (2) the determining place of the level of local spending in explaining economic impact, and (3) the significant role of the diversity of the local commercial fabric (especially at the level of subsequent rounds of spending). Attracting retirees presents several challenges. Such a strategy is probably only possible in amenity-rich rural areas. In other areas, more attention should be paid to aging-in-place retirees.

Suggested Citation

  • Vollet, Dominique & Roussel, Veronique & Callois, Jean-Marc, 2005. "Impact of Retirees on Rural Development: Some Observations from the South of France," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 35(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jrapmc:132309

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon F. Mulligan & Alexander C. Vias, 1996. "An Assessment Of The Assignment Method In Economic Base Analysis," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 26(3), pages 265-284, Winter.
    2. Martin Shields & Judith I. Stallmann & Steven C. Deller, 1999. "Simulating the Economic and Fiscal Impacts of High- and Low-Income Elderly on a Small Rural Region," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 29(2), pages 175-196, Fall.
    3. Brownrigg, M & Greig, M A, 1975. "Differential Multipliers for Tourism," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 22(3), pages 261-275, November.
    4. A Al-Hamad & R Flowerdew & L Hayes, 1997. "Migration of Elderly People to Join Existing Households: Some Evidence from the 1991 Household Sample of Anonymised Records," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 29(7), pages 1243-1255, July.
    5. Siegel, Paul B. & Leuthold, Frank O., 1993. "Economic And Fiscal Impacts Of A Retirement/Recreation Community: A Study Of Tellico Village, Tennessee," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 25(02), December.
    6. Andrew C. Krikelas, 1992. "Why regions grow: a review of research on the economic base model," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 16-29.
    7. Reeder, Richard J., 1998. "Retiree-Attraction Policies for Rural Development," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33667, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Pistre, 2011. "Rural gentrification and ageing: a case study from French countrysides," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1097, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Watson, Philip & Cooke, Stephen & Kay, David & Alward, Greg, 2015. "A Method for Improving Economic Contribution Studies for Regional Analysis," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1).
    3. Jens Abildtrup & Virginie Piguet & Bertrand Schmitt, 2011. "The impact of agro-food industry on employment and population changes: The case of Denmark and France'," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1622, European Regional Science Association.


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