Voting with Their Feet: Jobs versus Amenities
34 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007
The determinants of rural and urban community population change over the period 1991-2001 are investigated at a very fine level of disaggregation for Canada. The study examines the influence of local amenities, economic factors, and agglomeration economies on population growth for age cohorts starting from the very young to the elderly. Motivated by the objective of assessing the overall jobs versus people question in economic development, the emphasis is on estimating the relative contribution of groupings of variables in explaining the variations in population change rather than the contribution of individual variables. Results indicate that rural and urban populations are influenced to differing degrees by amenity, economic, and urban scale groupings of variables and that there are variations among age cohorts in both urban and rural areas. While economic variables are the most influential in population change for all rural cohorts, their contribution somewhat diminishes with age. In urban areas, amenity, and economic variable groupings have approximately equal importance across all cohorts. For the key young adult cohort, the economic grouping is clearly the most influential in rural areas, while it is a close second to amenities in urban areas.
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