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Abstract

We use national longitudinal survey data (NLSY79) to investigate the impact of local labor market conditions on the employment and earnings of rural non-college-educated workers. 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. We find little evidence of a difference between rural and urban impacts, suggesting that the 1990s boom helped both rural and urban less-educated workers. These results suggest that an expanding economy continues to be a powerful anti-poverty force.

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