Thursday, February 25, 2010
I ran across an especially interesting article on the Social Science Research Network entitled "Are Hispanic Immigrant Families Reviving the Economies of America's Small Towns?" IZA Discussion Paper No. 4682 DENNIS COATES, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. THOMAS GINDLING, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). ABSTRACT: In the 1990s, rural areas and small towns in the United States, which had been losing population, became the destinations for an increasing number of Hispanic immigrants and their families, slowing and in some cases reversing population declines. In this paper, we examine whether faster growth in the Hispanic population is linked to faster growth in income per capita in rural areas and small towns. Our results indicate strong support for the hypothesis that Hispanic population growth has fueled increased economic growth in those small, rural communities whose populations had been in decline during the 1970s and 1980s.
The paper is especially interesting in light of the fact that (1) immigrants from Mexico and Central America over the last decade have increasingly been settling in the South and Midwest; and (2) a number of the smaller towns where immigrants are settling have seen something of a backlash against immigrants, including anti-immigrant ordinances.