Eighty years of research on rural economic development, agglomeration, migration, commuting, income, innovation, and entrepreneurship: the Iowa state human capital tradition
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Wallace Huffman continued the tradition of research on Midwest rural labor markets at Iowa State University that was begun in the 1930s by his advisers T.W. Schultz and D. Gale Johnson. We review the lessons learned from this research about the wisdom of policies aimed at retaining population in rural areas in the face of market forces and technological changes that create incentives to migrate to urban areas. Professor Huffman’s teaching and lessons learned from the Iowa State Human Resources Workshop continues to shape recent research on the roles of agglomeration economies, information technologies, and returns to human capital on the strength of rural labor markets and policies regarding rural economic development.