Broadband’s Contribution to Economic Health in Rural Areas

This paper uses the latest data on both broadband availability and adoption to empirically gauge the contribution of broadband to the economic health of rural areas. Researchers utilize availability data from the National Broadband Map aggregated to county level, and county-level adoption data from Federal Communication Commission’s Form 477. Economic health variables of interest are gathered from a variety of sources and include median household income, number of firms with paid employees, total employed, percentage in poverty, and the percentage of employees classified as either creative class or non-farm proprietors. A propensity score matching technique (between a “treated” group and a control group) is used to make causal statements regarding broadband and economic health. Researchers measure whether the growth rates between 2001 and 2010 for different economic measures are statistically different for the treated and non-treated groups, restricting the analysis to non-metropolitan counties.

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Filed under: Studies
Posted on 3/20/2013 & last modified on 8/25/2014

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