Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development

Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development

Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development

Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development


Public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly important in the local economic development efforts of many cities. This collection of essays compares U. S. cities with those in western Europe. Conceptual issues are discussed, and comparisons at the city level illustrate the process, pitfalls, and results of such partnerships. Readers will be able to understand the types of partnership arrangements used in each country. Factors contributing to the success of these arrangements are discussed and compared. Scholars and students of local economic development and public finance, as well as public officials and economic development practitioners will benefit from the unique comparative framework used in this volume.


The concept of public-private partnerships in the United States and Europe has existed for centuries but has become more prominent in recent decades as public officials have joined with private businesses to create jobs, increase incomes, and increase the quality of life in other ways. Partnerships come in all sizes and types, so many in fact that it is hard to group them in a consistent fashion. Local officials, by working with private businesses, form literally dozens of small partnerships every year.

Recently, there has been growing interest by both academics and practitioners in the types of partnerships formed for local economic development. How they are monitored and what the successes have been are two main issues of concern. At the same time, however, the varied nature of the expectations and partnership arrangements make generalizations from case studies difficult.

We have tried to organize a collection of papers dealing with important public-private partnership issues and to arrange them in a way that readers can gain insights into the factors that make partnerships succeed. There is a growing interest in cross-national comparisons of partnerships, and this book should contribute to that literature.

A project of this type, by necessity, relies on the efforts of many people. The perceived need for this book came from discussions with the authors and many other colleagues and we thank them for their time. Special thanks go to Nancy Baird and A. Richard Longwell who diligently and patiently worked to prepare the manuscript for publication.

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