The Spatial Distribution of Poverty and the Long Reach of the Industrial Makeup of Places: New Evidence on Spatial and Temporal Regimes

Katherine J. Curtis, Junho Lee, Heather A. O'Connell, Jun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A wealth of research identifies industrial structure as a central correlate of place-level poverty and suggests that changes in and the clustering of industry contribute to the spatial clustering of poverty over time. However, few studies have investigated the spatial and temporal dimensions simultaneously, and none have effectively examined spatiotemporal interactions. Consequently, a core tenet of theory on poverty in place has not been adequately examined. To address this limitation, we explicitly test hypotheses about systematic variation in the poverty-industry relationship over time and across space using a new method to quantify dynamic associations by simultaneously accounting for spatial and temporal autocorrelation and relationship heterogeneity. The Upper Midwest is our study site given dramatic regional changes in dominant industries (i.e., manufacturing, services, and agriculture) and poverty during the past several decades. We find that the specific character of the poverty-industry relationship systematically varies along both the temporal and spatial dimensions: Industry is more protective in certain periods than in others according to sector trends, and is more protective in certain places than others conditional on sector dependence. Our approach yields a more precise and reliable understanding of the effect of the long reach of local industrial structure on the spatial clustering of poverty.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-65
Number of pages38
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 26 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by center Grant #R24 HD047873 and training Grant #T32HD07014 awarded to the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project 1010847; by the Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Directors; and by the Wisconsin Agricultural Experimental Station. We thank Christopher Fowler for comments on an earlier draft, and Caitlin McKown at the Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for graphic design expertise.


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