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The role of farm dependence and size on rural economic growth is examined with data from 2,240 nonmetropolitan U.S. counties for the period 1990-1995. A simple neoclassical model of regional economic growth is set forth with a central question relating to the role of agriculture on rural economic convergence. Traditional neoclassical theory predicts that poor rural areas should grow proportionally faster than rich areas. As interpreted in the academic literature and popular press, a preponderance of small family farms should enhance growth. Results suggest that a higher level of local dependence on production agriculture could lower growth rates.


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