Persistent Pockets of Extreme American Poverty and Job Growth: Is There a Place-Based Policy Role?

Over the past four decades almost 400 U.S. counties have persistently experienced poverty rates in excess of 20%. This raises the question of whether poverty-reducing policies should be directed more at helping people or helping the places where they reside. Using a variety of approaches, including geographically weighted regression analysis, we find that local job growth especially reduces poverty in persistent-poverty counties. Findings also show that these counties do not respond more sluggishly to exogenous shocks. Finally, this analysis identifies some key geographic differences among persistent-poverty clusters. Taken together, place-based economic development has a potential role for reducing poverty in these counties.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 32, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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