Economic development encompasses a wide range of concerns. As practiced at the local level it is a technique-dominated field concerned with increasing jobs and the tax base, primarily by marketing the location to prospective and existing employers. The political culture in which most developers operate emphasizes short-term solutions. As such, the practice of economic development is strikingly similar across the United States as economic developers try to keep up with the competition.
This book gives current and future economic developers and community leaders in the United States knowledge they can use to understand both the process and the practice of local economic development. The work presents an historical sketch of US development practice, as well as the fundamental definitions and concepts needed to understand economic development theory. It also discusses key theories of the local economic growth and development process.
While most existing books on economic development theory are concerned with less-developed countries; the authors focus on the US from a practitioner’s perspective. The book is organized to serve both as a text for in-service training or university courses and as a reference.