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Abstract

A simulation of population, income, employment, and capital in the nonmetropolitan and metropolitan sectors suggests that 1960-70 trends were leading to equal per capita incomes between the two sectors by the year 2000, and to abatement of the rapid nonmetropolitan outmigration. Changes during 1970-73 indicate that economic opportunities in the nonmetropolitan sector advanced in response to increased propensity to join the labor force, increased capacity to create jobs, and improved resource productivity. However, these changes explained only part of the apparent reversal in net migration. The balance remains to be explained outside the model. Simulation of seven types of strategies which might be pursued by the Federal Government to attain 1990 income targets indicated that each strategy had some potential for raising nonmetropolitan income; but each used in isolation displayed undesirable side effects on migration, dependency, unemployment, wages, or the level of general business activity. A multifaceted problem required a mixed strategy. Programs were most important in the mixed strategy which promoted joining the labor force, creating jobs, and increasing resource productivity. Programs to enhance capital accumulation above trend and expand markets had small multipliers. Programs to directly influence migration or natural increase were not required.

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