ERIC Number: ED456969
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Progress and Challenges in Reducing Economic Distress in Appalachia: An Analysis of National and Regional Trends since 1960.
Wood, Lawrence E.; Bischak, Gregory A.
This report analyzes changes in the number of distressed counties in Appalachia since 1960, identifies macroeconomic trends associated with distress in Appalachia, and examines socioeconomic factors associated with long-term distress as well as factors that predict whether a county moved out of distress. These data are also compared with similar data for the rest of the United States. The number of distressed Appalachian counties declined from 214 in 1960 to 78 in 1980, then rose to 106 in 1990. These trends mirror national trends. Full-employment policies and the initiation of large-scale federal poverty alleviation and economic development programs set the stage for major reductions in national distress levels. The shift toward anti-inflation policies and away from full-employment policies, and the long-term rise in household income and wage inequality were associated with rising distress levels nationally and regionally since the 1980s. Within Appalachia, factors associated with movement out of distressed status include a higher share of manufacturing employment, becoming part of a metropolitan area, more diversified economy, higher educational attainment, higher percentages of people living in urban areas, and ability to attract retirees as residents. Factors associated with persistent distress include higher shares of mining employment, minority populations, and children and elderly dependent populations, and dependence on government transfer payments. Policy implications are discussed. Appendices present distressed counties by year, maps, research methodology, and information about study data. (Contains 66 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Economic Development, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Attainment, Low Income Counties, Macroeconomics, Poverty, Poverty Areas, Public Policy, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Socioeconomic Influences, Trend Analysis
For full text: http://www.arc.gov/research/resmain.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Appalachian Regional Commission, Washington, DC.