Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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.

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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 countercyclical to labor market outcomes, I use public library staff and the amount of print resources and computers available as instruments. The results show that neither adult nor children’s programs and participation affect local labor market outcomes. These results are robust across different specifications. Spatial econometric estimates corroborate the main results and provide evidence of spatial spillover effects, especially for children’s programs.

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