Gabe, Wiesen, and alumnus Bharadwaj research urban influence in Maine

How do the economies of urban areas affect the economies of rural areas?  This is one of the key questions surrounding the regional sciences topic of urban influence.  In a recently published article, SOE professors Todd Gabe and Thomas Wiesen and recent alumnus Lakshya Bharadwaj (MS in Financial Economics) propose a novel measure of urban influence and apply it to Maine.  Their measure of urban influence uses time series models and borrows the concept of econometric connectedness, which is commonly used to measure market integration in finance and macroeconomics.  Using data on total taxable sales, the authors quantify the influence of Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, and Bangor on Maine’s 40 non-urban economic summary areas.   According to their analysis, the economies of Brunswick and Augusta are the most influenced by Maine’s three largest urban centers, whereas the economies of Fort Kent and Pittsfield are the least influenced.   They reveal a general pattern that non-urban areas with larger populations and higher tourist activity are more connected to urban areas than small and less visited areas.  The map above shows how connected each of Maine’s 40 non-urban economic summary areas are to Maine’s three largest cities.  The full article is available using the following link.