Economic Development Programs for Cities, Counties, and Towns

By John M. Levy | Go to book overview

4
Recent Economic Changes

The economic landscape of the United States has changed rapidly in recent years, sometimes in bewildering ways. A good working grip on the main outlines of the 'big picture' is essential for thinking about the larger questions of development strategy and marketing. Understanding the main currents of economic change will help the economic developer to distinguish between the inevitable, the possible, and the desirable-but-impossible -- important distinctions to make when time, money, and legal and political powers are limited.


PATTERNS OF REGIONAL CHANGE

The shift of population and economic activity from the northeast and north central regions to the South and the West, the so-called Frostbelt/ Sunbelt shift, has been widely recognized and widely documented for some years. As Table 4.1 indicates, the trend continued with considerable strength through the 1980s. Compare, for example, the 0.5 percent population growth in the east north central region with the 12.8 percent growth in the south Atlantic region and 14.9 percent in the Pacific coast region.

The causes of the regional shifts are generally well recognized. The most obvious is that the nation was first settled in the Northeast, and diffusion will naturally take place from that region. Climate is an important factor and has been exerting a southward pull for decades.

For the deep South and Southwest that pull has been greatly strengthened by the development of air conditioning in the years since World War II. The building of the interstate highway system, the development of electronic communications, and the expansion of both scheduled and non

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Economic Development Programs for Cities, Counties, and Towns
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Political Context of Economic Development 11
  • 3 - Organization and Personnel 19
  • 4 - Recent Economic Changes 25
  • 5 - The Role of the States 39
  • 6 - What Does and Does Not Work 47
  • Notes 61
  • 7 - Reasonable Expectations 63
  • 8 - Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing 67
  • 9 - Assessing Economic Development Potential 83
  • 10 - Development Planning 103
  • 11 - Development Financing 117
  • 12 - Labor Market and Fiscal Impacts 131
  • 13 - Local Economic Development in the National Picture 151
  • Appendix. Economics for the Economic Developer 165
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 171
  • About the Author 175
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