Towards a rural post-work society: Explaining population development in Swiss rural districts
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that for rural regions of Switzerland, jobs and enterprises do not have a positive effect on the quality of regional development in rural areas. Design/methodology/approach – Population development is used as an indicator for the quality of regional development. Economic, infrastructural, demographic and topographic variables for Swiss rural districts are summarized by factor analysis. The birth and migration balances of these districts between 1990 and 2000 are explained by two regressions. Findings – Remoteness influences both the birth and the migration balance negatively. Jobs and enterprises in the districts, split by sector, definitely do not spur population development. Research limitations/implications – Research on regional development should not overestimate the importance of a flourishing economy. Practical implications – In regional development projects, infrastructural factors are of central importance. Originality/value – The influence of economic factors in regional development is explicitly compared with non-economic factors.
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