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The Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Economies

AAEA members present at 2021 ASSA Annual Meeting

Whether it’s online grocery orders or curbside pick-ups, COVID-19 has shifted the way we shop. But how is it effecting those in less populated rural areas?

In the AAEA session "The Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Economies" at the virtual 2021 ASSA Annual Meeting, AAEA members present on the digital divide, impacts on health of food and liquor purchases, and industrial composition.

Organizer of the session, Heather Stephens from West Virginia University says, “This session will explore different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the US economy, and the differences between rural and urban regions. Paricipants will leave the session with a better understanding of the factors driving these impacts, and also the potential future of rural areas in a post-COVID world.”

Papers in this Session:

What Does COVID-19 Tell Us about the Digital Divide?

  • Heather Stephens, West Virginia University
  • Steven Deller, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Health of Food and Liquor Purchases

  • Jason Winfree, University of Idaho
  • Philip Watson, University of Idaho
  • Jill McCluskey, Washington State University
  • Ron Mittelhammer, Washington State University

Industrial Composition, Self-Employment and Rural Economies in the Time of COVID-19

  • Heather Stephens, West Virginia University
  • Zachary Keeler, West Virginia University
  • Mark Partridge, Ohio State University

If you are interested in attending this session virtually on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 from 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm EST with a complimentary media pass, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190