Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Country Road Take Me Home: Migration Patterns in the Appalachia America and Place-Based Policy

Partridge, Mark and Betz, Mike (2012): Country Road Take Me Home: Migration Patterns in the Appalachia America and Place-Based Policy.

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Abstract

This research fills a void in the regional development literature by assessing how labor force migration affects regional adjustment in peripheral regions and whether it differs than the rest of the country. We do this by comparing patterns for the lagging Appalachian region to the U.S. as a whole for the 1990s and post-2000 periods. We appraise whether successful job creation helps the original residents seeking employment, or primarily goes to outsiders, rendering place-based development policy ineffective. In a novel addition, we also appraise whether local job creation is associated with attracting relatively wealthier net-migrants. Because different relative migration elasticities imply different responses for other labor market outcomes, we also assess whether employment growth supports original residents in terms of lifting median household incomes and employment/population rates and reducing unemployment rates and poverty rates. We find that migration post-2000 has become less responsive to employment growth differentials, which allows successful economic development to lift the employment prospects of original residents, which also produces a stronger response in reducing local poverty rates.

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