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Blowin' Down the Road: Investigating Bilateral Causality Between Dust Storms and Population in the Great Plains

Publication Abstract

Deane, G., and Myron Gutmann. 2003. "Blowin' Down the Road: Investigating Bilateral Causality Between Dust Storms and Population in the Great Plains." Population Research and Policy Review, 22(4): 297-331.

Recently, the National Academy of Sciences concluded "it is clear that population and the environment are usually interrelated...". This paper directly tests the expected interrelationship using annual county-level population estimates provided by the U. S. Census Bureau and annual counts of dust storms from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s at weather stations situated throughout the U. S. Great Plains. In doing so, it implements a research design that extends methods (far removed from conventional demography) for pure time series analysis with multilevel regression models. The result is a method for causal modeling in panel data that produces, in this application, evidence of bilateral causality between population size and deleterious environmental conditions.

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