An Analysis of Regional Economic Growth in the U.S. Midwest

Daniel C. Monchuk, University of Southern Mississippi
John A. Miranowski, IOWA STATE UNIV
Dermot J. Hayes, Iowa State University
Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University

This is a working paper of an article from Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2007; 29(1): 17-39. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9353.2006.00328.x.


In this paper we examine some of the economic forces that underlie economic growth at the county level. In an effort to describe a much more comprehensive regional economic growth model, we address a variety of different growth hypotheses by introducing a large number of growth related variables. When formulating our hypotheses and specifying our growth model we make liberal use of GIS (geographical information systems) mapping software to "paint" a picture of where growth spots exist. Our empirical estimation indicates that amenities, state and local tax burdens, population, amount of primary agriculture activity, and demographics have important impacts on economic growth.