, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 297-331

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

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Abstract

Recently, the National Academy of Sciences concluded “it is clear thatpopulation and the environment are usually interrelated . . . ”. This paper directlytests the expected interrelationship using annual county-level population estimatesprovided by the U.S. Census Bureau and annual counts of dust storms from the1960s, '70s, and '80s at weather stations situated throughout the U.S. GreatPlains. In doing so, it implements a research design that extends methods (farremoved from conventional demography) for pure time series analysis withmultilevel regression models. The result is a method for causal modeling in paneldata that produces, in this application, evidence of bilateral causality betweenpopulation size and deleterious environmental conditions.