CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version

August 2000


Published by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Copyright © 2000 by R. Filkins, J. Allen, and S. Cordes.


In the past, rural economic development policies have traditionally taken one of two forms: direct aid (various forms of financial incentives granted to individual firms) or the provision of infrastructure, such as buildings or roads. However, some argue that these policies have become less efficient and that new alternatives should be considered. These new alternatives include indirect aid to businesses (improved access to capital and business services) as well as active labor market policies (which seek to help match demand and supply in the labor markets). Which policies would be most successful in promoting economic development in rural areas? This paper presents findings from the 2000 Nebraska Rural Poll to address this question. A sample of approximately 7,000 rural Nebraskans were sent a mail questionnaire that asked how effective various economic development policies or strategies would be for their communities. This paper will examine which types of policies rural residents believe will be successful in their communities. It will also explore whether or not respondents’ individual characteristics or characteristics of their current community are related to their perceptions toward development.