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Essays in Spatial and Regional Economics
AuthorGeisler, Karl R.
AdvisorNichols, Mark W.
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<bold>Chapter 1 - Minimum Wage Impacts on Firm Location Choice<bold>This chapter explores the impact of minimum wage legislation on firm location choice. In doing so, this chapter advances the literature in three ways. First, it provides an insight into for disparate findings in the literature on the impacts of minimum wage on employment. Second, it adds to the growing body of work that exploits geographical differences to test economic impacts. Third, by incorporating spatial economic theory into the theory of the firm, this chapter provides a simple yet powerful example of how firms use location choice as part of their profit-maximization decisions. Using a cross-border approach this chapter finds that 1) industries where customers come to the firm's location (`shopping' industries) locate with respect to population , while 2) industries with firms that deliver goods or services to their customers (`shipping' industries) choose to locate more heavily where statutory minimum wages are lower.<bold>Chapter 2 - Economic Impacts of Casino Legalization<bold>This chapter explores how the opening of casinos in riverboat states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri) in the mid-1990's impacted county income and employment. Building on previous literature, this study extends the analysis beyond the county where the casino opens to explore the effects experienced by neighboring counties. Real per capita county income is found to increase in counties where casinos open while unemployment drops. Neighboring counties experience similar significant changes in these variables, though to a lesser magnitude. Where casinos are opened in adjacent counties, a competition effect is found that reduces the impacts below what either would have experienced without competition. Neighboring counties that both have casinos experience increases in income and decreases in unemployment similar to counties without casinos that are adjacent to casino counties.<bold>Chapter 3 - Economics and Avalanches<bold>This chapter illustrates the complementarities that exist between economists and avalanche professionals. It explores the continuities between the domains, and suggests potential gains to each as a result of integrated work. In particular, work by economists on risk aversion and choices made under uncertainty explain the demographics of who dies in avalanches. Using these insights will allow avalanche professionals to better target prevention products. In turn, the choices made by users faced with potential avalanche hazard can shed light on the nature of decision making that involves risk with serious consequences - both from real-world observation and revealed choice experiments - which can improve economists' overall understanding of how individuals relate to risk and uncertainty.