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ERIC Number: ED473470
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Rural Policy and the New Regional Economics: Implications for Rural America.
Quigley, John M.
This paper discusses gross economic and demographic trends in rural and urban America during the past 30 years, the kinds of competitive advantages enjoyed by urban and rural regions, and insights offered by the new regional economics concerning exploitation of those advantages. The importance of agriculture has declined in rural areas, while that of manufacturing has increased. The rural population continues to decline, be less productive (older/disabled), and be less educated, leading to increased urban-rural disparities in wages and salaries, but improved production technology, reduced transport costs, and the spread of external economies have increased rural competitiveness in manufacturing and many services. These trends are expected to continue, and rural sites will become more attractive for the location of industry. Policies to preserve natural environments, coupled with improved rural access through infrastructure investment, have a clear basis in economic efficiency, but limited impact on rural development. Policies to increase human capital through decentralized extension programs may increase the competitiveness of certain rural areas as better-educated residents are employed in higher productivity jobs. However, transport improvements, increases in human capital and education, and the diffusion of information will facilitate the further depopulation of other rural areas by enabling migration for employment and higher wages. America's current rural landscape will be increasingly bifurcated, as some parts develop into metropolitan hubs and others decline in population and economic activity. A question and answer section discusses whether urban models are applicable to rural areas, effects of infrastructure and human capital improvements on migration, and questions of efficiency in provision of services. (Contains 30 references.) (Author/TD)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A