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Rural Economic Development: What Makes Rural Communities Grow?

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Lorna Aldrich and Lorin Kusmin

Agriculture Information Bulletin No. (AIB737) 8 pp, October 1997

Factors related to local and regional economic growth are attractiveness to retirees, right-to-work laws, excellent high school completion rates, good public education expenditures, and access to transportation networks. These were associated with improved county earnings in 1979-89, according to a multiple regression analysis of rural counties. Factors associated with poor earnings growth included higher wage levels, concentrations of transfer-payment recipiency, and concentrations of small independent businesses in the goods-producing sector.

Keywords: counties, rural, nonmetropolitan, regional, economic growth, earnings, economic development

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Updated date: October 1, 1997

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