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Master of Agribusiness

Causes of Retail Pull in Nebraska Counties and Towns

Rex Nelson, McCook, Nebraska, defended his thesis, “Causes of Retail Pull in Nebraska Counties and Towns,” Monday, November 1, 2004. Nelson is Executive Director for the McCook Economic Development Corporation.

Nelson used County Trade Pull Factors as a benchmark for retail trade in Nebraska, and developed a theoretical and a statistical model to explain changes in this measure. The theoretical model suggests that retail trade in a given county is a function of the customer base, the buying power of those customers, and the quality of the retail environment.

“This has been a richly rewarding project, in particular the collaborative aspect that brought a conceptual model developed at Kansas State University by Dr. David Darling together with retail trade data from Dr. Bruce Johnson’s work at the University of Nebraska,” Nelson said. “This work has increased my level of understanding of the complex dynamics of the rural economy and will help me be more effective in my professional field of rural economic development.”

“Rex Nelson’s research adds to the knowledge base in several fields,” Major Professor, David Darling said. “The model does an excellent job explaining why the retail community in different Nebraska counties vary in ability to hold on to and then pull in trade.”

“The research is useful in the fields of retail development, regional economics, and  geography. Main Street coordinators, retail site locators, and economic developers will find the results interesting. Therefore, the research is both interesting to academics and practitioners,” Darling said.