Determinants of Population Change in Regional Economies: A Study of the Colorado Front Range
Households and businesses are distributed across regional economies based on a number of factors including location-specific natural and fiscal amenities and local and regional employment conditions. Very different hypotheses are proposed in past research to explain the determinants of this spatial distribution. In particular, it is argued that households must weigh the benefits of potential amenities against the costs of employment losses, lower wages or higher housing prices. The relative strength of these two categories determines the potential for government intervention in the market. This research project analyzes this issue in the specific case of the Denver labor market area. This region has experienced large swings in economic activity over the past decade, but more recently, has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States. As growth occurs, the role of fiscal amenities in this process needs to be understood since governments may inhibit, promote or have no effect on regional population and employment growth.
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