Exurban Industrialization: Implications for Economic Development Policy

Arthur C. Nelson, William J. Drummond, David S. Sawicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Manufacturing is moving into the exurban countryside, away from central cities and their suburbs. However; manufacturing firms remain attracted to markets, labor, and transportation facilities and, therefore, tend to avoid remote areas. Increasing numbers of firms and employment are locating outside developed urban areas but not necessarily in the rural hinterlands. We call this middle area exurbia, and we call the process of manufacturing growth in this area exurban industrialization. It will fuel further population deconcentration and thus presents new opportunities for formerly rural communities within expanding urban territory. It also presents new challenges to communities competing for manufacturing firms. Finally, it presents fundamental challenges to manufacturing policy at all levels of government. This article uses economic base analysis to characterize exurban industrialization trends, discusses the nature of competition for new manufacturing jobs in this context, and reviews important policy implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-133
Number of pages15
JournalEconomic Development Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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