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Rural-to-Urban Commuting: Three Degrees of Integration


Commuting ties between rural places of residence and urban places of employment are among the most visible forms of rural-urban integration. For some rural areas, access to urban employment is a key source of population retention and growth. However, this access varies considerably across rural areas, with distance representing a primary deterrent. In addition to distance, the size of the urban community will also influence rural-to-urban commuting opportunities. In this paper, using Canadian data, we empirically estimated the influence of local rural population and job growth on rural out-commuting within the urban hierarchy. We find consistent support for the deconcentration hypothesis where population moves to rural areas for lifestyle and quality of life reasons, while retaining urban employment. Further, we find some evidence that in addition to distance from the nearest urban center being a deterrent, increased remoteness from the top of the urban hierarchy exerts a "positive" influence on out-commuting. Recognition of these types of rural-urban linkages through commuting is essential in designing Canadian rural policy and targeted programs that may effectively support local rural populations. In particular, they point to the need to have reasonable transportation infrastructure for urban accessibility, which should be complemented by other "built" infrastructure to improve the livability of rural communities. Copyright (c) 2010 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Growth and Change.

Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 303-335

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Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:41:y:2010:i:2:p:303-335
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