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Do public libraries impact local labor markets? Evidence from Appalachia

B Ferreira Neto, Amir (2018): Do public libraries impact local labor markets? Evidence from Appalachia. Forthcoming in: Spatial Economic Analysis (2022)

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of public library programs and participation on unemployment and labor force participation in Appalachia. Appalachia is an economically distressed area, mostly rural, and with a sustained lower level of labor force participation and a higher level of unemployment. As public library programs can be cyclical to business cycles, i.e. labor market outcomes, I use public library staff and the amount and computers available as instruments. OLS estimates show no effect of adult or children’s programs and participation on local labor market outcomes. Spatial econometric estimates provide evidence of indirect effects of adults programs and children participation on labor force participation.

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