Title page for ETD etd-06142005-103358

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Mills, Jacqueline Warren
Author's Email Address jmills5@lsu.edu
URN etd-06142005-103358
Title Wealth and Deprivation in the Delta: A Landscape of Subsidization
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Craig E. Colten Committee Chair
Kent Mathewson Committee Member
Michael Leitner Committee Member
Miles Richardson Committee Member
Frederick D. Weil Dean's Representative
  • LISA
  • GIS
  • Mississippi delta
  • agristructure
  • poverty
  • subsidies
Date of Defense 2005-04-21
Availability unrestricted
The Mississippi Delta, as defined by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), is an area of historical and present deprivation. Persistent poverty, lackluster economic development opportunities, and the associated ills of this environment exist alongside large-scale, subsidized agriculture. These federal subsidy payments are criticized for increasing the wealth of corporate enterprises rather than stabilizing the family farmer for whom they were created. This dissertation examines the geography of agristructure, subsidies, and socio-economic characteristics in the Delta with the purpose of identifying spatial relationships among these three variables. Drawing from the Goldschmidt Hypothesis, this research proposes that areas of large-scale agristructure will also be areas of high subsidy income and of poor community well-being as measured by social and economic indicators. Local Indicators of Spatial Autocorrelation (LISA) are employed with correlation and interviews in order to identify the patterns of deprivation associated with agriculture and to understand variation in this geography within the region. With this information, hopefully policymakers will recognize the inefficiency wrought from the traditional “one-size-fits-all” approach to economic development in the region. The Delta will not effectively move forward without acknowledgement of agriculture’s role in both its wealth and deprivation and of understanding the region’s true diversity.
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