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The Role of Economic Development Corporations in Local Economic Development


  • Christopher A. Jarmon

    (Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA)

  • James M. Vanderleeuw

    (Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, USA)

  • Michael S. Pennington

    (University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC)

  • Thomas E. Sowers

    (Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, USA)


Since their establishment, city-level economic development corporations in Texas have grown in popularity as an ostensible means of providing for economic development. However, one knows little about the association between these economic development entities and the economic vitality of the areas they serve. Using a 2005-2006 survey of city leaders in Texas, along with Census data for 304 Texas cities, the authors investigate the association between the use of economic development corporations and the level of local unemployment. Results of the analysis indicate that economic development corporations have a reliable association with lower levels of unemployment; however, the activities of these entities matter. Lower levels of community employment are associated with activities that focus on industrial development. In contrast, the authors find no reliable relationship between the level of city unemployment and economic development corporations that engage in quality of life activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher A. Jarmon & James M. Vanderleeuw & Michael S. Pennington & Thomas E. Sowers, 2012. "The Role of Economic Development Corporations in Local Economic Development," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 26(2), pages 124-137, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:124-137

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    Cited by:

    1. Tunstall, Thomas, 2015. "Recent Economic and Community Impact of Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration and Production on South Texas Counties in the Eagle Ford Shale Area," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1).


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