Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Economics


The object of this study was to examine the effects of invest-ments in water resources on regional income and employment. To attain this end, two hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis was that investments in water resources had a favorable impact on income and employment in the immediate areas in which the investments were made. The second hypothesis was that investments in water resources had an impact on income and employment but that the spatial nature of that impact might be diffused and irregular in pattern due to the influence of markets and other institutions. In testing the hypotheses, data on income, employment and edu-cation were gathered for 125 counties in the Tennessee River Watershed Region. Variables included in these data were Per Capita Income, Total Income, Total Employment, Capital Invested in Manufacturing, TVA Invest-ments, and percentages of population in four income and educational categories. These variables were analyzed by regression analyses, the calculation of beta-coefficients, by discriminant analysis for two groups and t-tests in seven programs (six of which were recorded in the study). The analytical models were applied to different combinations of the basic data in two categories of counties in each program. The counties were categorized as either directly impacted by water resource projects or not directly impacted by water resource projects. In all programs the directly impacted counties generally shared a common geographic element in that they were located either near water resource projects or in close proximity to rivers on which water projects were located. Several implications were drawn from the analysis of the programs. The analyses implied that residents in counties in close proximity to water resource investment projects enjoyed a greater per capita income in the long rim than did residents in counties not near similar projects. The analyses also implied that investments in water resources were in the long run associated with increases in employment in counties re-moved from the site of investments and decreases in employment in counties near the investments. The analyses further implied that in-vestments in water resources were not associated with an increase in the standard of living for people in the low income and educational groups living near the areas where investments were made as compared to people in the same categories living in areas removed from the sites of investments. In considering the implications of the analyses of the study as related to the hypothesis tested, the first hypothesis would appear subject to question. The second hypothesis would tend to be favored. The analyses did not reveal a definite pattern of counties in which income and employment standards might be related geographically to water resource projects funded by public investments. The only justi-fied conclusion of this study might, therefore, be expressed in the form of a hypothesis that the major effects of investments in water resources on regional income and employment were indeed regional and not confined to isolated areas.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."