Measuring stocks of community wealth & their association with food systems efforts in rural & urban places.
Schmit, T.M.; Jablonski, B.B.R.; Bonanno, A.; Johnson, T.G.
Healthy, sustainable communities depend on cumulative investments in a broad range of capital assets, yet little research sets forth comprehensive measures of their stocks or the relationships of capital assets to community outcomes or policy efficacy. We develop a comprehensive set of indicators associated with stocks of community-based wealth at the county level. Including such indicators when evaluating community outcomes addresses a missing-variables problem of prior efforts and allows one to control for and quantify the importance of community capital assets in concert with traditional modeling efforts. To illustrate their use, we evaluate the association between the percentage of farms selling through direct local food markets and community capital stocks for both metro and nonmetro counties. In so doing, we demonstrate clear differences across metro and nonmetro classifications and the need for public and/or private planning efforts to consider preexisting levels of community capitals in appropriately framing food system interventions, policies, and strategies for development.
WP 2020-05 June 2020
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
community capitals; wealth; food systems; local food; rural development
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