Impact of counter-urbanization on size, population mix, and welfare of an agricultural region

Eli Feinerman*, Israel Finkelshtain, Anat Tchetchik, Mordehai Delgo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The article explains the phenomenon of counter-urbanization, which has become prominent in most developed countries. We develop a model that provides an economic rationalization for the observed willingness of incumbent farmers of a rural region to absorb nonfarmer urban migrants. The analytical findings show that counter-urbanization increases the region's welfare-maximizing population, decreases the optimal number of incumbent farmers, and increases the per capita welfare. The empirical results, which are based on data from rural Israel, demonstrate that while the optimal population of farmers decreases slightly, the total optimal population of the region more than triples and farmers' per capita welfare almost doubles.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1032-1047
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Eli Feinerman and Israel Finkelshtain are, respectively, professor and associate professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Center of Agricultural Economic Research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Anat Tchetchik is a lecturer at the Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. While working on the paper, Mordehai Delgo was a PhD candidate at the Department of Agricultural Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Financial support from the Agricultural Chief-Scientist Fund, the Sapir Fund,and the Deutsche Forschungsgemainschaft is gratefully acknowledged.


  • counter-urbanization
  • farmer welfare
  • local public good
  • mixed populations


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