The service sector and rural America: issues for public policy and topics for research

by Mark D. Menchik


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This paper points to the sharp growth in the rural service sector, identifies the economic precursors and consequences of service-sector activity, delineates issues for public policy, and speculates on the future. Especially in rural areas, service industries constitute the fastest-growing sector of the American economy. Recent trends in the demand for services and in the technology of service provision suggest that country folk will soon have access to certain specialized services formerly denied to all but urbanites. However, because the service sector is so different from agriculture and manufacturing, its growth poses unique challenges for rural development policy.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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