RUPRI Analytic and Academic Programs
One of the cornerstones of sound policy and a functioning democracy is sound information to help guide decisions at the community, regional/state, national, and international levels. From its inception, RUPRI has never strayed from its primary mission of relying upon a sound evidentiary base to help inform policy. As RUPRI moves forward it intends to further strengthen the analytic capacity upon which sound policy can be based. This strengthening includes both an internal and external component.
The RUPRI Analytic and Academic Programs initiative is based at the University of Missouri-Columbia and directed by Dr. Thomas Johnson, Frank E. Miller Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics. Associate Director is Dr. J. Matthew Fannin, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, Louisiana State University.
Policy Brief :
Over one-half of the population of nonmetropolitan statistical areas of the United States live in a subset of nometropolitan geographies classified as Micropolitan areas. Over 27 million people live in these larger rural places, which are often anchor communities serving as regional hubs for commerce, employment and services. However, these areas are largely unexplored and under-studied and we may be missing key understandings of what factors drive and influence these regions. RUPRI intends to elevate the status and understanding of Micropolitan America through a series of forthcoming efforts. This introductory report, Micropolitan America: A New and Critical Part of the Nation’s Geography, lays out a brief overview of the salient features of Micropolitan America, presents an agenda for future work, and invites other practitioners, researchers and policymakers to engage with the effort.
Analytic Panel Members
Dr. Sam Cordes, Professor and Associate Vice Provost, Emeritus, Center for Regional Development, Purdue University
Dr. Matthew Fannin, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University
Dr. Becca Jablonski, Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University
Dr. Tom Johnson, Frank E. Miller Professor, Emeritus, of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri– Columbia
Dr. Paul Lewin, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho.
Dr. Bruce Weber, Professor, Emeritus, of Applied Economics and Director of the Rural Studies Program, Oregon State University
Dr. Emily Wornell, Assistant professor, Indiana Communities Institute, Ball State University
Poverty and Social Mobility
Analysis of trends and factors affecting poverty and social mobility is a major focus of RUPRI’s Analytic and Academic Programs, and is led by Dr. Bruce Weber, Professor of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. A recent analysis of poverty trends over 50 years was recently released by Dr. Bruce Weber and RUPRI Program Director Kathleen Miller. Analysis of Poverty Trends over 50 years (pdf) Additional research focus in this area include:
- How have the determinants of high poverty changed over time in rural counties?
- How have the determinants of exiting high poverty status changed over time in rural counties?
- How have USDA Rural Development investments affected poverty rates in rural counties over time?
- How do the same factors affect social mobility?
Rural Wealth Creation
RUPRI’s Analytic Programs focus on wealth creation in rural America, moving beyond tradtitional measures of success in rural economies to a triple bottom line approach to economic, community, and environmental indicators that represent more lasting well-being. RUPRI’s Analytic team was involved in the publication of a recent book entitled Rural Wealth Creation
Rural Wealth Framework Principles
- Well-being depends on the flow of benefits from our stocks of comprehensive wealth
- Comprehensive wealth includes financial, and built, natural, human, intellectual, social, political and cultural.
- Comprehensive wealth includes both private and public assets
- Comprehensive wealth considers negative and positive externalities
- Comprehensive wealth depends on the interaction among assets—substitutability and complementarity
- Interpersonal distribution of comprehensive wealth determines the distribution of income, and together they influence social mobility.
- People-based wealth is distinguished from, and related to, place-based wealth based on people’s property rights (ownership) of assets, and the mobility of assets
- Wealth differs spatially due to differences in place-based assets, and people’s preferences. Rural places differ from urban places especially due to differences in natural assets, population density, investments in built capital, and cultural differences.
Rural Wealth Book
A major effort of RUPRI’s Analytic Programs is the Spatial Analytics Initiative, led by Dr. Sam Cordes, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University. The Spatial Analytics Initiative focuses on evaluating how public investments in rural regions increase the prosperity, security, and equity of the nation.
Other RUPRI Analytic Efforts
In 2012, RUPRI collaborated with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship on a Cooperative Agreement with USDA to understand Access to Capital Markets in Rural America. The following reports were generated from this work:
- Interim Briefing Report to USDA, April 2012 (Download pdf)
- Field Insights and Policy Recommendations (Download pdf)
- Mapping Capital Markets in Rural America (Download pdf)
The American Community Survey, which replaced the Decennial Census Long Form, has many implications for use of data to analyze conditions and trends in rural America. RUPRI Program Director Kathleen Miller authored an article on this topic for the Association of Public Data Users. Read the Article for the Association of Publich Data Users (pdf) In 2008 the RUPRI Center for Regional Competitiveness completed an analysis of economic opportunities in a multi county region of southern Minnesota. The report examined current economic sectors, and potential areas for future growth in the region. Analysis of Economic Opportunities in Southern MN Report (pdf)