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ERIC Number: EJ847643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
The Economic Importance of Air Travel in High-Amenity Rural Areas
Rasker, Ray; Gude, Patricia H.; Gude, Justin A.; van den Noort, Jeff
Journal of Rural Studies, v25 n3 p343-353 Jul 2009
The western United States offers a case study on the importance of access to large population centers and their markets, via road and air travel, for economic development. The vast distances between towns and cities in the American West can be a detriment to business, yet they also serve to attract technology and knowledge-based workers seeking to live in a picturesque setting. In spite of the increasing importance of amenities to migration and business location, also needed is access to markets, particularly via commercial air service. We test a new county classification system for the western United States to reflect differing degrees of access to population centers and account for the increasing importance of airports. Past classifications are based on population size and cross-county commuting. We examine the validity of this new classification and test for differences in economic performance among the three county types. Our findings show that there are three distinct Wests that can be classified using economic performance measures and socioeconomic characteristics. The results show that "metro" and "isolated" counties are clearly distinct, but "connected" counties, those that are rural in nature but have ready access to metropolitan areas via air travel, can be difficult to distinguish from "metro" and "isolated" counties. Much of the variation is explained by travel distance to airports. The findings illustrate the importance of airports in rural development, and the limitations facing those communities that are isolated from markets and population centers. The results apply to other parts of the world with similar characteristics that include large expanses of open space, natural amenities that attract migrants and stimulate new business, and different degrees of access to large population centers via road or air travel, and therefore different rates of economic growth. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A