Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Highway Investment and Rural Economic Development: An Annotated Bibliography

    BLA-133, April 30, 1999

    This annotated bibliography summarizes studies of the rural economic development implications of highway investment. Primary emphasis is on research dealing with rural areas, but some urban studies are also cited. Topics covered include the aggregate economic effects of highway investment, the effects of highway investment on business location decisions and employment expansion, the effects of highway investment on different industries, local and regional spatial effects of highway investment, and highway effects over time.

  • Rural Competitiveness: Results of the 1996 Rural Manufacturing Survey

    AER-776, March 01, 1999

    Establishments in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan locations are surprisingly similar in their adoption of new technologies, worker skill requirements, use of government programs and technical assistance, exports, and sources of financing, according to the results of a nationwide survey of 3,909 manufacturing businesses. The most widespread concern of both metro and nonmetro businesses appears to be with quality of labor. Quality of local labor is the most frequently cited problem associated with nonmetro business locations. Access to credit, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructure is a problem of secondary importance for both metro and nonmetro respondents. Rural communities face a considerable challenge in supplying workers with needed skills. The fastest-growing skill requirements--computer, interpersonal/teamwork, and problem-solving skills--are not central to traditional academic instruction.

  • Issues in Rural Manufacturing: Results of the ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey

    AIB-736, October 01, 1998

    About the Survey The ERS Rural Manufacturing Survey is a nationwide study of local factors affecting the ability of manufacturers to compete in today's increasingly international economy. Telephone interviews were conducted with 2,844 rural and 1,065 urban establishments with 10 or more employees. Questions focused on technology adoption, worker skills and training, access to outside expertise, sources of capital for expansion and modernization, and government program participation. The survey is unique in the breadth of its concerns, its focus on local relations, and the size of its rural sample. The survey was designed by ERS with input from representatives of industry and the academic research community. The Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University conducted the actual survey. The overall response rate for the survey was 69 percent. About the Series The survey results are being published in a series of eight-page issue briefs, written under the premise that awareness and understanding of the problems facing manufacturers will improve both public and private decisionmaking. While the reports may be read separately, each builds on the others so that the entire series should provide a comprehensive view of rural manufacturers and their problems and concerns.

  • Retiree-Attraction Policies for Rural Development

    AIB-741, July 20, 1998

    Many rural communities have benefited from the attraction of retirees in recent years. With the baby boom generation beginning to make retirement decisions, many other rural communities might consider economic development strategies based on attracting and retaining retirees. This report reviews the literature on the impacts (both positive and negative) of retiree attraction in rural areas and indicates which places might benefit most (slow growth or declining population) and least (rapid growth) from retiree attraction. Factors indicating local potential to attract retirees include natural and manmade amenities, proximity to cities and tourism, and past record of attracting retirees. Recent State retiree-attraction initiatives are examined, such as direct State technical assistance and marketing, the use of local self-help models, targeting previous residents, and promoting the development of planned retirement communities.

  • Rural Economic Development: What Makes Rural Communities Grow?

    AIB-737, October 01, 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.

  • Credit in Rural America

    AER-749, April 01, 1997

    In response to a mandate in the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, this report provides information on the major financial institutions and Federal programs active in rural America, the performance of rural financial markets, and the costs and benefits of proposals to expand the lending authority of the Farm Credit System (FCS) and commercial bank access to FCS funds. After examining available data on agricultural, housing, small business, and community development loans, lenders, and programs, this report concludes that rural financial markets work reasonably well in serving the financial needs of these sectors of the rural economy. While localized financial market problems exist in some rural communities, and not all segments of the rural economy are equally well served, financial market failures are neither endemic to nor epidemic in rural America. Therefore, policies which provide untargeted subsidies to a broad range of rural lenders or borrowers such as those examined in this report are unlikely to be cost effective. While the proposals we examined to expand FCS lending authority and bank access to FCS funds would benefit their sponsors and some rural communities, they would do little to address rural credit market imperfections and, at the national level, their associated costs would outweigh their benefits.

  • Racial/Ethnic Minorities in Rural Areas: Progress and Stagnation

    AER-731, August 01, 1996

    Rural minorities lag behind rural Whites and urban minorities on many crucial economic and social measures. This report examines rural Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian and Pacific Islander populations and their economic well-being in the 1980's, an economically difficult decade for rural areas. Results show minimal minority progress as measured by changes in occupation, income, and poverty rates. However, the type and speed of progress was quite different among minority groups and between men and women of the same minority group. Results showed considerable diversity among groups in the characteristics that were associated with poor economic outcomes.

  • The Diverse Social and Economic Structure of Nonmetropolitan America

    RDRR-49, September 18, 1985

    Effective rural development planning depends on facts and analysis based, not on national rural averages, but on the diverse social and economic structure of rural America. Programs tailored to particular types of rural economies may be more effective than a generalized program. This study identifies seven distinct types of rural counties according to their major economic base, presence of federally owned land, or population characteristics: (1) counties depending heavily on farming, (2) counties depending heavily on manufacturing, (3) mining counties with economic based principally on natural resources, (4) counties specializing in government functions, (5) persistent poverty counties, (6) Federal lands counties, and (7) retirement settlements. Because of these unique characteristics, government policies and economic trends may affect these county groups in quite different ways.