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  1. Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044 [Download]

    Title: Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: In this chapter we examine how government and governance within metropolitan regions affect regional economies and regional economic growth. We focus on the organization of government and governance within metropolitan regions, on the taxing and spending activities of governments within a region, and on the culture of governmental institutions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  2. Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042 [Download]

    Title: Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Cluster theory and its application and cluster-based economic development policy, have been in the forefront of regional economic development theory and practice during the past decade. Cluster theory suggests that firms that are part of a geographically defined cluster benefit from being a part of that cluster and that these benefits result in growth in economic output for the region. These benefits accrue as a result of co-location or geographic proximity that, in turn, creates lower input costs for firms through agglomeration economies and facilitates knowledge spillovers that produce innovation and increased productivity. Consequently, firms in clusters that generate these benefits will be more competitive, and regions with effective clusters will experience greater growth. As this suggests, clusters are important for understanding and improving regional economic growth. It is important for policy makers and practitioners to understand how and in what ways they do so and what actions they can take to enhance economic growth through generating additional cluster benefits. In particular, since analysis of and policies based on clusters have become a feature of much modern regional economic development policy, it is critical for practitioners to understand the dynamics of clusters and the limitations as well as advantages of employing cluster strategies.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  3. Building Regional Economic Resilience: What Can We Learn from Other Fields, Working Paper 043 [Download]

    Title: Building Regional Economic Resilience: What Can We Learn from Other Fields, Working Paper 043
    Author: Ficenec, Sarah
    Description: Within a variety of academic fields, the concept of resilience has been gaining currency as a way to understand how systems react to change, disruptions, and trauma. The idea of ‘resilience’ has become a common method of trying to capture different responses to an increasing number of systemic shocks. Frequently, however, many of these studies stay within their own fields, rarely branching out beyond the specific topic of interest to explore how resilience is conceptualized in other fields and what contributions that definition of resilience might provide to their own work. Furthermore, even though most of those working on the topic believe resilience is not an innate concept but rather a capacity that can be built, there is generally a tendency to researchers to focus on how a system or individual bounces back, rather than why.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  4. Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 041 [Download]

    Title: Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 041
    Author: Sarzynski, Andrea
    Description: A successful regional economy depends on the efficient and productive operation of many interacting systems, including labor and housing markets, business investment and supply processes, and other local and regional systems. An important and dynamic intermediate outcome from the interaction of these systems is the spatial organization of economic assets within a particular region, also known as the urban spatial structure, urban form, or the built environment. An empirical question remains whether and how the spatial configuration of regional economic assets contributes to economic growth. Theoretically, different spatial configurations could impose differential costs and benefits on regions for conducting economic activity, and thus could have differential impacts on economic growth. The purpose of this section is to inform practitioners regarding what we know and what we do not know about the influence of spatial organization on economic activity and regional prosperity, as well as to discuss what can be done to improve spatial efficiency and what research still needs to be conducted to inform decision-making.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  5. Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040 [Download]

    Title: Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040
    Author: Hill, Ned
    Description: Economic shocks occur periodically to metropolitan economies, though the effect that these shocks have varies from region to region as does the region’s adjustment and recovery to them. In this paper we examine the nature and extent of these shocks, their effects on regional economies (some regional economies are resistant to shocks, while others suffer substantial downturns), and the resilience of regional economies to these shocks. We are particularly concerned with regional economic resilience: why are some regional economies that are adversely affected by shocks able to recover in a relatively short period of time while others are not?
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  6. Building Economic Development Networks in Detroit: A Comparison of Methods of Social Network Analysis, Working Paper 045 [Download]

    Title: Building Economic Development Networks in Detroit: A Comparison of Methods of Social Network Analysis, Working Paper 045
    Author: Ficenec, Sarah
    Description: The use of social network analysis, which explores personal networks among individuals, has expanded across a number of disciplines because it makes substantial contributions about relationships underlying collaborative efforts. It also provides information on how information travels and on the most important actors in a network. While there has been some work applying social network analysis to economic development policy, the opportunity exists to make greater use of this tool, especially as recognition grows about the importance of networks for successful policy. The Detroit region (here defined as the city plus the counties of Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb) provides an ideal setting for a test of social network analysis in economic development policymaking. During the previous century, southeastern Michigan experienced decades of extreme growth followed by slower but no less extreme decline. Both the causes – the rise and fall of the automobile industry – and its consequences – a pocket of poverty in an emptying city surrounded by more resilient suburbs – are well-known. For the last several decades, there have been conscious efforts by elected officials, philanthropic individuals and organizations, advocacy institutions, universities and community colleges, average citizens, and others to renew Detroit; many of these programs have been multi-actor efforts uniting different organizations and people in an attempt to change the city’s conditions. There has also been a growing recognition that the suburban communities need to work with those in the city of Detroit in order to focus on the region, rather than on individual cities or townships. This paper will apply two methods of social network analysis – board interlock theory and a survey of economic development policymakers – to the Detroit region, and compare the results produced. Looking at the networks among board members in the corporate, nonprofit, and foundation communities in the region demonstrates how information and new ideas can be transmitted among a region’s influential actors, while survey results offer information about the existing networks among policymakers and how such networks may be strengthened. These methods analyze slightly different questions related to social networks; both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two can involve a trade - off between the types of networks considered, accuracy, and the time and resources involved.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  7. The Adoption of Solar Energy Financial Incentives Across the States, Working Paper 039 [Download]

    Title: The Adoption of Solar Energy Financial Incentives Across the States, Working Paper 039
    Author: Young, Garry
    Description: Heightened concerns over energy prices, energy security, fossil-fuel scarcity, and climate change are spurring a revival of interest in renewable forms of energy in the United States. Potential for significant solar-based energy production has helped place solar policies high on the nation’s policy agenda. This renewed interest comes after more than thirty years of experimentation with solar policies, primarily at the state level. Indeed, since 1974 almost every state adopted some type of financial incentive directed towards encouraging solar-power production and many states adopted and modified multiple types of solar incentives over time. Thus while the current interest in solar power may yield major federal initiatives, historically it has been the state governments – America’s laboratories for policy innovation – that have provided support for solar energy (Rabe 2004) and it may prove the case that support for solar remains primarily a state-level policy. Consequently it is important to understand the factors across the states that affect the adoption of solar incentives. In this paper we perform an event history analysis on solar incentive adoption from 1974 to 2007. Unlike the far majority of event history analyses in public policy studies, which examine policy adoption as a single event, we examine solar-incentive adoption as a multi-event phenomenon with individual states at different points adopting different types of incentives or otherwise changing incentives already in place.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  8. Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038 [Download]

    Title: Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Policy transfer is the spread of a policy – or some aspect of a policy – across units of government that occurs as a result of the adopting unit having at least some knowledge of the existence of the policy in other units. It is a subset of the broader term “policy diffusion,” which is the spread of policy across units regardless of whether that spread results from knowledge or from other factors such as convergence – a unit adopting a policy similar to other units because it is responding to similar conditions/problems, even if it is unaware of the existence of the policy elsewhere. Policy transfer thus requires “policy learning.” In this paper I will focus on what we know from the research literature about how policies transfer, what kinds of policies transfer, how policy learning that results in policy transfer takes place and what is known prescriptively about how governments should engage in the process of policy transfer (lesson-drawing).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  9. Democracy Workshop Pilot Report [Download]

    Title: Democracy Workshop Pilot Report
    Author: Stoker, Robert
    Description: The Democracy Workshop at The George Washington University (GW) conducted a pilot project during October 2008 to assess how knowledge of social security, attitudes about politics, and ideas about the practice of policy analysis might be influenced by a deliberative democracy experience. Twenty-nine graduate students in GW’s Master of Public Policy program participated in a deliberative democracy exercise on the future of the Social Security program. Participants completed pre- and post-test questionnaires. This report provides an overview of the pilot project. The body of the report focuses on key findings and issues for future research. Appendix A is a copy of the codebook for the pre- and post-test questionnaires that provides the text of the questions, variable names, and numerical codes. Appendix B presents the frequency distributions for each of the items included on the questionnaires.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  10. Poverty in the US and the UK: Relative Measurement and Relative Achievement, Working Paper 036 [Download]

    Title: Poverty in the US and the UK: Relative Measurement and Relative Achievement, Working Paper 036
    Author: Shwalb, Rebecca
    Description: By the government’s official measure, 18 percent of children in the United States were living in poor families in 2007. In the United Kingdom, where the Labour party has set a 2010 goal to reduce child poverty by 2010 to half the level observed in 1998/99 (and a 2020 goal to eliminate it), the official measure for 2006/2007 was 22 percent. While it may appear at first that US children are in a better position, this is misleading because of differences in procedures for measuring poverty in the two countries. Poverty in the UK is assessed by comparing a broadly defined measure of household income to a threshold amount equal to the 30th percentile of the overall income distribution. When a similar approach is used for US data, the estimated child poverty rate rises to 29 percent. It is likely that the new US administration will alter current procedures for poverty assessment in the US, and UK methods would be usefully studied. At the same time, the UK would benefit from study of American survey procedures and reform proposals.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015