10/29/2018 Colloquium Series - Becca Jablonski: “Measuring the Stock of Rural Wealth: Coalescing County-Level Measures”
A more comprehensive evaluation of impacts resulting from rural programming and initiatives is necessary to better inform the efficacy of rural development efforts and guide policy decisions. This is because healthy, sustainable communities depend on cumulative net investment in a broad range of capital assets. This research contributes to the literature by providing a comprehensive measure of wealth and empirically estimating the relationship between the stocks of wealth and a food system intervention outcome (using the share of farmers accessing direct to consumer markets as a proxy). Finally, we estimate optimal levels of capital associated with this food system outcome, demonstrating empirically that policymakers need to know preexisting levels of the capitals before determining appropriate interventions. Through this analysis, we hope to contribute to the understanding of where differential investments are required in a capital for an intervention to be more likely to be successful in rural areas.