Stephan J. Goetz, Devon Meadowcroft, Yicheol Han

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Rural counties tend to lag behind urban areas on the typical National Science Foundation (NSF)-type measures of innovation such as patents, R&D expenditures, and science and engineering workforce. Yet the NSF measures are narrowly conceived and ignore more general types of innovation, some of which are also prevalent in certain rural areas. For example, Li et al. examine locations of the fastest growing firms by total revenue as reported in INC5000 and find that such firms are also found in rural counties, although at a rate that is declining over time. More recently, Goetz and Han developed a measure of innovation that is based on spillovers in production and process innovation as well as proximity of firms and find that such innovation also occurs in rural communities. In this chapter, we map and describe the geography of general types of innovation that occur in rural U.S. counties to provide an empirical context for the book. We also examine the relationship between rural innovation activity and other predetermined county characteristics, such as the USDA/ERS amenity index. The natural amenities index is a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance that location as a place to live.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding Rural Community Resilience through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000538397
ISBN (Print)9781032014210
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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