Poverty and Employment in Timber-Dependent Counties
One of the most controversial aspects of federal and state policies aimed at protecting old-growth ecosystems has been the potential impact of job losses on local economies. A fundamental question for historically timber-dependent communities is whether these policies will result in local economic stagnation and enduring pockets of poverty. In this paper, we examine the long-run impact of changes in timber-related employment on other types of employment and participation in major federal poverty programs. We use monthly, multi-county time series data to estimate a vector autoregressive model of the experience of northern California counties during the 1980s and 1990s. We find that employment base multiplier effects of timber employment on other types of employment in each county are small, and state economic conditions rather than local employment conditions are the principal driver behind local poverty.
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