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Population Growth in High Amenity Nonmetropolitan Areas: What’s the Prognosis?

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  • Dan S. Rickman

    (Oklahoma State University)

  • Shane D. Rickman

    (University of Wyoming)

Abstract

This paper examines the continued strong population growth in U.S. nonmetropolitan areas possessing high levels of natural amenities during the 1990s and the potential reasons for convergence of population growth across the top tiers of the amenity hierarchy. Based on an examination of spatial hedonic growth regressions, it is concluded that strong demand for high amenity areas continued in the 1990s, but the convergence in population growth across the top tiers was related to convergence in quality of life and lower productivity growth in the highest amenity tier counties, not inelasticity in the supply of land and housing. The results suggest continued convergence in population growth in the near future and further suggest that local policymakers in the most amenity attractive areas should focus on protecting and enhancing valued local area natural characteristics; failure to do so will lead to a lower local quality of life and stagnation of area economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan S. Rickman & Shane D. Rickman, 2009. "Population Growth in High Amenity Nonmetropolitan Areas: What’s the Prognosis?," Economics Working Paper Series 0907, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:okl:wpaper:0907
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