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Rural Population Growth, 1950–1990: The Roles of Human Capital, Industry Structure, and Government Policy

  • Tzu-Ling Huang
  • Peter F. Orazem
  • Darin Wohlgemuth

Human capital raises rural incomes, but this effect is swamped by higher returns to human capital in urban markets. This leads to “brain drain” from rural areas. Populations grow more rapidly in rural counties that have a diversified employment base. Farm population grows faster (or declines more slowly) in counties with relatively high farm income, and nonfarm populations grow faster in counties with relatively high nonfarm income. However, higher farm incomes lead to slower nonfarm population growth and vice versa. Rural county government services financed by local taxes or debt have neutral or negative effects on population growth. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 84 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 615-627

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:84:y:2002:i:3:p:615-627
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