Youth out-migration from Pennsylvania: The roles of government fragmentation vs. the beaten path effect

Georg Grassmueck, Stephan J. Goetz, Martin Shields

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors of a recent Brookings report argue that Pennsylvania's lackluster economic performance, including a high rate of loss of young residents (age 25-34), is partly due to fragmented local units of government hindering comprehensive and regional approaches to stimulating economic growth. This assertion is based on casual inference rather than rigorous statistical analysis. In the present study we employ a newly-developed measure of state/county govermnent fragmentation in a county-level econometric migration model to test the Brookings assertion formally. After examining and controlling for the complete set of factors identified from previous studies to motivate youth out-migration, we conclude that government fragmentation acts to keep youth in Pennsylvania rather than drive them out. We conclude that calls for consolidating sub-county government units based on young migration are premature and offer a number of explanations for our finding along with policy implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Regional Analysis and Policy
Volume38
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 28 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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