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Abstract

This article uses National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) data to investigate the impact of local labor market conditions on the employment and earnings of rural non-college-educated workers. The results suggest that local economic conditions in the late 1990s did have a positive impact on wages, and the effect is larger for workers with no more than a high school degree compared to their college-educated counterparts. Further, there is evidence of a difference between rural and urban labor markets, suggesting that the 1990s boom helped urban less-educated workers but not those in rural areas. The rural/urban difference is most apparent for male workers.

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