Industrial Structure and Poverty in the U.S. Upper Midwest, 1960-2010: New Evidence on Spatial-Temporal Regimes

Katherine J. Curtis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Heather A. O'Connell, Rice University
Junho Lee, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jun Zhu, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Poverty in the US is unevenly distributed. Places with high poverty rates tend to neighbor other places reporting high poverty and, for the most part, high poverty counties have been impoverished for decades. A wealth of research identifies industrial structure as a central correlate of poverty, suggesting that the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of industry are reflected in the spatial patterning and temporal trends in poverty. However, few studies have investigated both dimensions simultaneously, thereby leaving a central tenet of theory on poverty and place unexamined. We apply advanced spatial statistical models to investigate whether there are predictable patterns of spatial variation and temporal changes in the relationship between industry and poverty. Preliminary results show less spatial variation in the relationship between industry and poverty over time, and that temporal variation in the relationship generally is consistent across space, supporting and offering nuance to a core hypothesis of theory on poverty and place.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 7: Spatial Demographic Analysis of Poverty