IS HISPANIC POPULATION DISPERSION INTO RURAL COUNTIES CONTRIBUTING TO LOCAL ECONOMIC GROWTH?

Authors

  • DENNIS COATES,

    1. Coates: Professor of Economics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 20250. Phone 410-455-3243, Fax 410-455-1054, E-mail coates@umbc.edu
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  • T. H. GINDLING

    1. Gindling: Research Fellow, IZA and Professor of Economics, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 20250. Phone 410-455-3629, Fax 410-455-1054, E-mail gindling@umbc.edu
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    • This research was partially supported by a UMBC MIPAR/CAHSS summer faculty research fellowship. We are also grateful for the helpful comments from Matthias Cinyabuguma, Lisa Dickson, David Marcotte, and participants at a UMBC Economics/Public Policy Seminar and an IZA workshop on Legal and Illicit Immigration: Theory, Empirics and Policy. David Gearhart provided valuable research assistance.


Abstract

In the 1990s, rural counties in the United States, which had been losing population, became the destinations for an increasing number of Hispanics, slowing and in some cases reversing population declines. In this paper, we examine whether faster growth in the Hispanic population is linked to faster growth in income per capita in rural counties. Our results indicate strong support for the hypothesis that population growth caused by the increase in Hispanics, whether from international immigrants, migrants from within the United States, or from natural growth in families, has fueled increased economic growth in those small, rural communities whose populations had been in decline during the 1970s or the 1980s. (JEL J15, J61, R11)

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