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ABSTRACT

Few studies empirically estimate the effects of metropolitan growth on nonmetropolitan communities at a national scale. This paper estimates the growth effects of 276 MSAs on population in 1,988 nonmetropolitan communities in the United States from 2000 to 2007. We estimate the distance for growth spillovers from MSAs to nonmetropolitan communities and test the assumption that a single MSA influences growth. We compare three methods of weighting cities’ influence: nearest city only, inverse-distance, and relative commuting flow to multiple cities. We find the inverse-distance approach provides slightly more reliable and theoretically supportable results than the traditional nearest city approach.