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Natural Beauty, Money, and the Distribution of Talent: A Local-Level Panel Data Analysis

Xinxiang Chen and Guangqing Chi
Population Research and Policy Review
Vol. 31, No. 5 (October 2012), pp. 665-681
Published by: Springer in cooperation with the Southern Demographic Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23260383
Page Count: 17
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Natural Beauty, Money, and the Distribution of Talent: A Local-Level Panel Data Analysis
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Abstract

While factors affecting highly educated migrants are well documented, controversies on whether noneconomic or economic factors matter remain largely unexplored. This manuscript investigates the effects of natural amenities (water and forests) and economic forces (household income and unemployment rate) on talent distribution at the subcounty level. Natural amenities and economic forces were analyzed with respect to talent share empirically estimated at the municipal level in an amenity-rich lakes region of the North Central United States from 1970 to 2000. The limited panel data analysis results suggest that "natural beauty" (natural amenities) has no direct positive effect on talent share but that "money" (household income) matters. When interacting with "money," water coverage has a positive effect on talent share. Unemployment rate generally does not have any effect on talent distribution. The finding has important implication for local policy making in attracting talent migrants.

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