Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Results of rural/urban analysis of stimulus spending reveal little

County-level breakdowns of stimulus spending per person show rural counties received slightly more money than their urban counterpart, but the difference was too small to draw meaningful conclusions. "Are there patterns here? Frankly, there are no common factors that explain why some counties have gotten more stimulus spending than others," Roberto Gallardo and Bill Bishop report for the Daily Yonder. "Poor counties aren’t getting more per person than rich ones. Counties with high unemployment receive slightly less money than those with low unemployment." Gallardo and Bishop used ProPublica's database of stimulus spending for the analysis.

"We tested measures of poverty, education and employment, and none of these were statistically relevant to how stimulus money was distributed," the Yonder writes. "Rural counties received $782 per person in stimulus money, in this revised calculations. Urban counties received $690 and exurban counties received $673 per person." After removing state capital counties, which were credited in the database with money given to state governments for distribution, the analysis showed rural counties that voted for President Obama in the 2008 election received $915 per person, compared to $734 per person in counties that voted for John McCain. (Read more) (Yonder chart of rural county stimulus money)

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