Impact of Retirees on Rural Development: Some Observations from the South of France
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 retireesâ€™ 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.
Volume (Year): 35 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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