More Employers, More Jobs, More Money: An Empirical Analysis of Local Economic Development Policy Impacts in U.S. Cities
Local government leaders in the U.S. employ a multitude of programs and policies in the name of economic development to increase the number of firms, employment, wages, and, of course, the tax base. The past few decades have seen a surge in local economic development policies, yet research analyzing their effectiveness is sparse. This study analyzes the relationship between local economic development policy and economic growth in a data set of 412 U.S. cities. Results indicate that policy has only has a weak correlation with economic growth, suggesting that growth is determined more by market conditions rather than government intervention. The article concludes with an entrepreneurial policy approach this author believes may yield development results in an era of limited policy effectiveness.
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