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Rural non-profit leaders and their (in)formal role in local development

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Oto Potluka University of Basel, Switzerland

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Petr Fanta Czech Technical University, Czech Republic

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Current interest in place-based leadership is playing a crucial role in local development. It concerns mainly politicians and public servants. The role of non-profit leaders is still an under-researched topic. Thus, we ask the following research questions: Are rural areas with local action groups (LAGs) more attractive to people than those without? Within rural areas with LAGs, are those with a higher proportion of non-profit partners more attractive to people?

On a sample of 6,262 Czech municipalities, we tested whether membership of municipalities in LAGs and non-profit leadership attributed to positive migration balance. We did it by the application of the propensity score matching method combined with the difference–indifference approach.

We found positive estimates for both LAGs’ membership and non-profit leadership on the attractiveness of municipalities. The participation of non-profit leaders makes an important difference. These results underline the importance of bottom-up approaches with voluntary engagement. Moreover, our findings demonstrate contradictory aspects of top-down imposed policies.

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Oto Potluka University of Basel, Switzerland

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Petr Fanta Czech Technical University, Czech Republic

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