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Federal Policy, Rural Community Growth, and Wealth Creation: The Impact of the Federal Forest Policy and Rural Development Spending in the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

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  • "In this paper, we use community-level data from Oregon’s 234 rural communities, which we define as incorporated cities with less than 50,000 people, to analyze Federal forest policy. We hypothesize that positive policy impacts due to amenity-related migration were confined to nearby communities, while the negative impacts due to mill job losses were spread more widely because logs from federal forests do not always go to nearby mills. We attempt to distinguish these two effects spatially. This paper examines the impact of the Northwest Forest Plan on population and wealth in Oregon’s rural communities. In addition to the finer geographic specification of place, the paper advances the literature in two other ways. Previous studies of the impacts of Federal forest policy mainly focus on how policy changes affect employment, population, and income. Our paper is the first to examine changes in wealth as an outcome of Federal forest policy changes. Over the past several years, there has been a surge in interest in wealth creation in rural America. Yet, there is not much research on what factors increase community wealth, in part because data on wealth are less well developed than data on income and employment and population. Many studies have focused on the determinants of county-level economic activity, such as jobs and income, but very few, if any, quantitative analyses have focused on the dynamics of wealth creation at the community-level. The other advance in this paper is that we attempt to determine the effects of Federal rural development spending on population growth and changes in community wealth, taking into account the possibly countervailing effects of Federal forest policy changes." --P. 3
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  • Chen, Y., & Weber, B. (2012). FEDERAL POLICY, RURAL COMMUNITY GROWTH, AND WEALTH CREATION: THE IMPACT OF THE FEDERAL FOREST POLICY AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT SPENDING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, 94(2), 542-548. doi: 10.1093/ajae/aar065
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  • This is the author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher.

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