Monday, September 24, 2007

Rural poverty is partly a function of 'low capital' people preferring rural areas, study says

A new study sees rural poverty as partly a reflection of people with low education being drawn toward rural areas and being reluctant or unable to leave. Conducted by Monica Fisher, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University, the study is highlighted in the new issue of the Rural Policy Research Institute’s publication, "Perspectives on Poverty, Policy and Place."

The study suggests that individuals with "low human capital," specifically a lack of education, gravitate toward rural areas where there are more low-wage jobs and less competition. These areas also offer a lower cost of living and thus a greater potential to stretch those low earnings. In short, the study says people who are more likely to be poor sort themselves into rural areas. (Above a chart from the Department of Agriculture shows "poverty persistent counties" where the rate of poverty has been 20 percent between 1970 and 2000.)

This article explains that this study shows rural poverty comes as a result of both "preferences of individuals with low human capital (education in this case) for nonmetro areas and by reduced economic opportunities in those areas." To download the full issue of Perspectives on Poverty, Policy and Place, go here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been to some of the places shown on map. I believe most of them are on reservations and i been working with an volunteer organization to improve not only living conditions also to provide better educational system. I am not sure if the local police is aware or doesnt care much as i seen drugs all around the town. I seen 17 year old mom carrying her two babies. At present i cant do much but in future i am determined to help these communites as much as i can.