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Does local economic development really work? Assessing LED across Mexican municipalities

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  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    ()

  • Eduardo I. Palavicini-Corona

Abstract

Local economic development (LED) strategies are increasingly being recommended as an alternative or a complement to traditional development strategies. However, beyond a limited number of areas where ‘best practices’ have been identified, there has been little systematic monitoring of whether LED really works. This paper uses a purpose-built database of 898 municipalities in Mexico in order to assess, using a quantitative approach, whether the implementation of seven different components of LED – development plan, sustainability, entrepreneurship, capacity building, participation mechanisms, development links, and autonomy – has delivered greater human development across Mexican local governments. The results of the analysis indicate that municipalities engaging in LED during the last two decades have witnessed significant improvements in human development, relative to those which have overlooked LED strategies. The increase in human development has been greatest for those local authorities which have pursued capacity building, the establishment of additional development links and which have drafted a development plan. Greater independence from federal or state initiative has, by contrast, been detrimental for changes in human development at the local level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 1224.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1224

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Keywords: local economic development (LED); human development; capacity building; participation; local authorities; local autonomy; Mexico;

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  1. Amartya Sen, 2000. "A Decade of Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 17-23.
  2. Koen DECANCQ & María Ana LUGO, 2010. "Weights in multidimensional indices of well-being: an overview," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces10.06, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
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  8. Andy Pike & Andres Rodriguez-Pose & John Tomaney, 2007. "What Kind of Local and Regional Development and for Whom?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(9), pages 1253-1269.
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  10. Streeten, Paul, 1994. "Human Development: Means and Ends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 232-37, May.
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  12. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  13. Farhad Noorbakhsh, 1998. "The human development index: some technical issues and alternative indices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 589-605.
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