This article describes the use of econometric panel data techniques to estimate the effects of rail line abandonments at the county level. The article presents the economic theory that indicates how abandonments will affect local communities. Data were collected on line abandonments and several economic measures for counties in Kansas. Panel data estimation techniques were used to provide estimates of the effects for rural, urban and metropolitan counties. Results indicate that abandonments produce an initial period of economic growth that may be temporary for some counties. Results also indicate that any adverse impacts appear with a time lag of a few years.


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