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Export Sectors and Rural Development

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  • Maureen Kilkenny
  • Mark D. Partridge

Abstract

The export base hypothesis is that a region’s growth is led by export demand, given perfectly elastic factor supplies. It is a rationale for “sector-based” rural development policies, and it is formalized by input-output models. But it is contested by modern trade, migration, and growth theories, and there is little research about its empirical relevance. We investigate the hypothesis for contemporary U.S. rural development by estimating the influence of export sector employment on subsequent rural development outcomes. The results reject the hypothesis that emphasizing traditional export employment results in rural growth, reject the assumption of perfectly elastic factor supply, and support alternative explanations. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Maureen Kilkenny & Mark D. Partridge, 2009. "Export Sectors and Rural Development," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 910-929.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:91:y:2009:i:4:p:910-929
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