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What Should EDA Fund? Developing a Model for Preassessment of Economic Development Investments


  • Brad R. Watts

    (W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, MI, USA,

  • George A. Erickcek

    (W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, MI, USA)

  • Jacob Duritsky

    (TeamNEO, Cleveland, OH, USA)

  • Kevin O'Brien

    (Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA)

  • Claudette Robey

    (Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA)

  • James Robey

    (TeamNEO, Cleveland, OH, USA)


This article describes a comprehensive study of regionalism conducted by a joint team of economists and economic development specialists for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The project consisted of two main activities: an examination of the factors associated with economic development success and the creation of a practical interactive tool for EDA project assessment and comparison. Findings from surveys, interviews, and project case studies are discussed in terms of their support for a positive relationship between successful economic development efforts and factors such as leadership and private investment. The authors also discuss the creation of a quantitative assessment model using well-known approaches such as economic impact multipliers and cluster theory. The primary contribution of this work to the existing body of EDAfocused research and evaluation literature is its introduction of a means of using standardized scores, also known as z -scores, to compare and assess economic development projects across both industries and regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Brad R. Watts & George A. Erickcek & Jacob Duritsky & Kevin O'Brien & Claudette Robey & James Robey, 2011. "What Should EDA Fund? Developing a Model for Preassessment of Economic Development Investments," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(1), pages 65-78, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:1:p:65-78

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