Rural Population Growth, 1950-1990: The Roles of Human Capital, Industry Structure, and Government Policy
Posted: 27 Dec 2002
Human capital raises rural incomes, but this effect is swamped by higher returns to human capital in urban markets. This leads to 'brain drain' from rural areas. Populations grow more rapidly in rural counties that have a diversified employment base. Farm population grows faster (or declines more slowly) in counties with relatively high farm income, and nonfarm populations grow faster in counties with relatively high nonfarm income. However, higher farm incomes lead to slower nonfarm population growth and vice versa. Rural county government services financed by local taxes or debt have neutral or negative effects on population growth.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation