In this course we engage methods used by economic development planners to understand local and regional economies and identify directions for planning action. Students learn to use the methods, understand and critique reports that use the methods, and assess the problems of a local economy. The goal is to be both rigorous and critical users of methods against the larger context of a changing and uncertain economic landscape in recent years: massive unemployment and dislocation, the restructuring of local and regional economies, accelerated technological change, shifting labor migration patterns, growing economic internationalization, the decline of manufacturing employment, the blurring of public and private planning, the inverted city-suburb-edge city relationships, and the conflicts between economic, social and ecological interests. We may also examine several emerging themes: the role of the arts in economic development; the role of commercial sports (and sports facilities); the targeting of high-tech and biotech sectors; the prospects of promoting manufacturing in Michigan; etc.
Registration / Course Availability
If you are unable to register for the course and are still interested, simply attend the first day of class. As with most courses, lots of students come and go the first week and spaces may become available.
1. How are regional economies interconnected? How does a single change (job loss, plant closure, infrastructure shift) trigger repercussions throughout the region and beyond?
2. Why are some cities and regions economically thriving while others are besieged?
3. What works and what doesn't? How do we know if economic policies work as promised? What locational advantages promoted by cities actually attract and retain businesses (rather than constitute hollow text on promotional brochures)?
4. There is a bewildering range of economic measures: which one are actually useful (rather than merely decorative or deceptive) measures of a place’s economic development potential?
5. Can innovation be measured? Can it be incubated and replicated?
6. How do you choose between three economic development strategies: planning for place / planning for people / planning for sectors? (i.e., do you invest in buildings/infrastructure, education/training or firms?)
7. What is the big prize? Is a vibrant, healthy community simply a place with traditional measures of economic success (job growth, revenues, multipliers, etc.), or something more (including social justice, environmental health, civil society, aesthetics)?
Topics (partial list):
economic base models / multipliers
forward + backward linkages
regional economic statistical compendia
||shift-share (sector composition analysis)
measures of poverty & social inequality (e.g., GINI coefficients)
measures of spatial inequality / uneven development
target industry analysis
industry cluster analysis
||economic impact analysis / policy evaluation
retail trade area analysis
economic development finance techniques (including tax increment financing)
measures of human capital/social capital
measures of innovation potential
see also this list of terms / concepts.
No prerequisites, though some knowledge of basic economics, local policy, community development, industrial organization or policy evaluation would be useful. This course complements UP538: Economic Development Planning (Note: UP538 is not a prerequisite for UP539). Students from other programs (such as architecture, public policy, business, social work, SNRE, etc.) are encouraged to participate.
Students will work on both individual and group projects, applying methods to the analysis of actual local and regional economies and evaluations of economic development policies. Students will be able to choose the local/regional economies to study, and have the option of selecting a client for their projects.
There are NO textbooks to purchase. Readings will be available online via
(a) Canvas (articles)
(b) directly via the web;
(c) online books (via UM's "ebrary" -- do set up a free account). Online texts (in the "UP539 Economic Development" folder) are listed below. (Note: given the overlapping themes between UP538 and UP539, I have combined the two folders into one large folder of online books.)
2000. Economics of Sports. Kalamazoo, MI, USA: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
2000. Knowledge, Space, Economy. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
2002. Livable Cities? : Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press.
2002. Just Sustainabilities : Development in an Unequal World. London, GBR: Earthscan.
2002. Grit Beneath the Glitter : Tales from the Real Las Vegas. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press.
2004. Community Participation in China : Issues and Processes for Capacity Building. London, GBR: Earthscan.
2004. Workforce Development Politics : Civic Capacity and Performance. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
2004. Manufacturing Suburbs : Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
2005. Partnerships for Smart Growth. Armonk, NY, USA: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
2006. University As Urban Developer : Case Studies and Analysis. Armonk, NY, USA: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
2006. Clusters, Networks, and Innovation. Oxford, GBR: Oxford University Press, UK.
2006. Jobs and Economic Development in Minority Communities. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
2006. Cities Farming for the Future : Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities. Ottawa, ON, CAN: IDRC Books / Les Éditions du CRDI.
2006. Amenity Migrants : Seeking and Sustaining Mountains and Their Cultures. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, GBR: CABI Publishing.
2008. China Urbanizes : Consequences, Strategies, and Policies. Herndon, VA, USA: World Bank Publications.
2008. Networked Urbanism : Social Capital in the City. Abingdon, Oxon, GBR: Ashgate Publishing Group.
2008. Retooling for Growth : Building a 21st Century Economy in America's Older Industrial Areas. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
2008. Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects, Volume 1. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
2010. Making Ecopreneurs : Developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship (2nd Edition). Farnham, Surrey, GBR: Ashgate Publishing Group.
2010. Local and Community Driven Development : Moving to Scale in Theory and Practice. Herndon, VA, USA: World Bank Publications.
2011. City in the Twenty-First Century : Global Downtowns. Philadelphia, PA, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
2013. City in the Twenty-First Century : Revitalizing American Cities. Philadelphia, PA, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Aamidor, Abe, and Ted Evanoff. 2010. At the Crossroads : Middle America and the Battle to Save the Car Industry. Toronto, Ontario, CAN: ECW Press.
Accordino, John J. 2000. Captives of the Cold War Economy : The Struggle for Defense Conversion in American Communities. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press.
Agyeman, Julian. 2005. Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice. New York, NY, USA: New York University Press (NYU Press).
Altshuler, Alan A., and David E. Luberoff. 2003. Mega-Projects : The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
Anderson, John E., and Robert W. Wassmer. 2000. Bidding for Business : The Efficacy of Local Economic Development Incentives in a Metropolitan Area. Kalamazoo, MI, USA: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Banister, David, and Joseph Berechman. 1999. Transport Investment and Economic Development. London, GBR: Routledge.
Bianco, Anthony. 2006. Bully of Bentonville : The High Cost of Wal-Mart's Everyday Low Prices. Westminster, MD, USA: Doubleday Publishing.
Bigio, Anthony G., and Bharat Dahiya. 2004. Urban Environment and Infrastructure : Toward Livable Cities. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank Publications.
Black, Brian. 2000. Petrolia : The Landscape of America's First Oil Boom. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Blore, Ian, Nick Devas, and R. P. Slater. 2004. Municipalities and Finance : A Sourcebook for Capacity Building. Toronto, ON, CAN: Earthscan Canada.
Bonne, Alfred. 1998. Studies in Economic Development With Special Reference to Conditions in the Underdeveloped Areas of Western Asia and India. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Brett, Deborah, and Adrienne Schmitz. 2009. Real Estate Market Analysis : Methods and Case Studies. Washington, DC, USA: Urban Land Institute.
Brown, Clair, and Greg Linden. 2009. Chips and Change : How Crisis Reshapes the Semiconductor Industry. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Burchell, Robert, Anthony Downs, and Sahan Mukherji. 2005. Sprawl Costs : Economic Impacts of Unchecked Development. Washington DC, USA: Island Press.
Campanella, Thomas J. 2008. Concrete Dragon : China's Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World. New York, NY, USA: Princeton Architectural Press.
Delaney, Kevin J., and Rick Eckstein. 2004. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle Over Building Sports Stadiums. New Brunswick, NJ, USA: Rutgers University Press.
DiGaetano, Alan, and John S. Klemanski. 1999. Power and City Governance : Comparative Perspectives on Urban Development. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Douglas, Ian. 2013. Cities : An Environmental History. London, GBR: I.B. Tauris.
Drennan, Matthew P. 2002. Information Economy and American Cities. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Engelhardt, Carroll. 2007. Gateway to the Northern Plains : Railroads and the Birth of Fargo and Moorhead. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Fields, Gary S. 2001. Distribution and Development : A New Look at the Developing World. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Florida, Richard. 2008. Who's Your City? : How the Creative Economy Is Making Where You Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books.
Freeman, Lance. 2006. There Goes the 'Hood : Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
Freire, Mila, and Mario Polèse. 2003. Connecting Cities with Macro-economic Concerns : The Missing Link. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank Publications.
Friedmann, John. 2005. China's Urban Transition. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Frug, Gerald E., and David J. Barron. 2008. City Bound : How States Stifle Urban Innovation. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press.
Fujita, Masahisa, Paul Krugman, and Anthony J. Venables. 1999. Spatial Economy : Cities, Regions and International Trade. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. 2001. Essential Galbraith. Boston, MA, USA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Galster, George. 2012. Metropolitan Portraits : Driving Detroit : The Quest for Respect in the Motor City. Philadelphia, PA, USA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Gertler, Meric S., and Trevor J. Barnes. 1999. New Industrial Geography : Regions, Regulations and Institutions. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Goldsmith, William, and Edward Blakely. 2010. Separate Societies : Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities (2nd Edition). Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
Goodell, Jeff. 2000. Sunnyvale : The Rise and Fall of a Silicon Valley Family. Westminster, MD, USA: Villard Books.
Gottlieb, Robert, and Anupama Joshi. 2010. Food Justice. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Hackler, Darrene L. 2006. Cities in the Technology Economy. Armonk, NY, USA: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
Hamel, Pierre, Henri Lustiger-Thaler, and Margit Mayer. 2000. Urban Movements in a Globalising World. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Herscher, Andrew. 2012. Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit. Ann Arbor, MI, USA: University of Michigan Press.
Hess, David J. 2009. Localist Movements in a Global Economy : Sustainability, Justice, and Urban Development in the United States. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Hess, David J. 2012. Good Green Jobs in a Global Economy : Making and Keeping New Industries in the United States. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Hollander, Justin B., Niall Kirkwood, and Julia L. Gold. 2010. Principles of Brownfield Regeneration : Cleanup, Design, and Reuse of Derelict Land (2nd Edition). Washington DC, USA: Island Press.
Jasper, James M. 2002. Restless Nation : Starting Over in America. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Kahn, Matthew E. 2006. Green Cities : Urban Growth and the Environment. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
Kriken, John, Phil Enquist, and Richard Rapaport. 2010. City Building : Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's Critical Planning Principles for the Twenty-First Century. New York, NY, USA: Princeton Architectural Press.
Landry, Charles. 2008. Creative City : A Toolkit for Urban Innovators (2nd Edition). London, GBR: Earthscan.
Lécuyer, Christophe, David C. Brock, and Jay T. Last. 2010. Makers of the Microchip : A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Lewis, Robert D. 2003. Chicago Made : Factory Networks in the Industrial Metropolis. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Light, Jennifer S. 2003. From Warfare to Welfare : Defense Intellectuals and Urban Problems in Cold War America. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Lyons, Thomas S., and Roger E. Hamlin. 1996. Economy Without Walls : Managing Local Development in a Restructuring World. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press.
Lyons, Thomas S., and Roger E. Hamlin. 2001. Creating an Economic Development Action Plan : A Guide for Development Professionals Revised & Updated Edition. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press.
Markey, Sean. 2004. Second Growth: Community Economic Development in Rural British Columbia. Vancouver, BC, CAN: UBC Press.
Markusen, Ann R. 2007. Reining in the Competition for Capital. Kalamazoo, MI, USA: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Martelle, Scott. 2012. Detroit : A Biography. Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago Review Press.
Maynard, Micheline. 2004. End of Detroit : How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market. Westminster, MD, USA: Doubleday Publishing.
McKee, Guian A. 2010. Historical Studies of Urban America : Problem of Jobs : Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Meiklejohn, Susan Turner. 2000. Wages, Race, Skills and Space : Lessons from Employers in Detroit's Auto Industry. New York, NY, USA: Garland Science Publishing.
Meléndez, Edwin. 2004. Communities and Workforce Development. Kalamazoo, MI, USA: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Michael, Graham, and Woo Jean. 2009. Fuelling Economic Growth : The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development. Ottawa, ON, CAN: Practical Action Publishing.
Mitchell, Stacy. 2006. BigBox Swindle : The True Cost of MegaRetailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses. Boston, MA, USA: Beacon Press.
Moreton, Bethany. 2009. To Serve God and Wal-Mart : The Making of Christian Free Enterprise. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Neff, Gina. 2012. Acting With Technology : Venture Labor : Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
O'Hara, S. Paul. 2010. Gary, the Most American of All American Cities. Bloomington, IN, USA: Indiana University Press.
Ozawa, Connie P. 2004. Portland Edge : Challenges in Growing Communities. Washington DC, USA: Island Press.
Pellow, David N., and Lisa Sun-Hee Parks. 2002. Silicon Valley of Dreams : Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy. New York, NY, USA: New York University Press (NYU Press).
Persky, Joseph, Daniel Felsenstein, and Virginia Carlson. 2004. Does "Trickle Down" Work? : Economic Development Strategies and Job Chains in Local Labor Markets. Kalamazoo, MI, USA: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Peterson, George E. 2008. Unlocking Land Values for Urban Infrastructure Finance. Herndon, VA, USA: World Bank Publications.
Rae, Douglas W. 2003. City : Urbanism and Its End. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
Rennen, Ward. 2007. CityEvents : Place Selling in a Media Age. Amsterdam, NLD: Amsterdam University Press.
Roberts, Bryan, and Natalie Berg. 2012. Walmart : Key Insights and Practical Lessons From the World's Largest Retailer. London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd.
Roseland, Mark. 2005. Toward Sustainable Communities : Resources for Citizens and Their Governments. Gabriola Island, BC, CAN: New Society Publishers.
Rosen, Marjorie. 2009. Boom Town : How Wal-Mart Transformed an All-American Town into an International Community. Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago Review Press.
Schulman, Bruce J. 1991. From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt : Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1938-1980. Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press.
Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. Westminster, MD, USA: Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated.
Shuman, Michael H. 2007. Small-Mart Revolution : How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (2nd Edition). San Francisco, CA, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Smith, Melanie K. 2006. Tourism, Culture, and Regeneration. Cambridge, MA, USA: CABI Publishing.
Soja, Edward W. 2010. Seeking Spatial Justice. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Stobart, Jon. 2004. The First Industrial Region : North-west England, c.1700-60. Manchester, GBR: Manchester University Press.
Tinker, Irene. 1997. Street Foods : Urban Food and Employment in Developing Countries. Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press.
Tumber, Catherine. 2011. Small, Gritty, and Green : The Promise of America's Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Vale, Lawrence J., and Thomas J. Campanella. 2005. Resilient City : How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster. Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press.
Van Kooten, G. Cornelis. 1993. Land Resource Economics and Sustainable Development : Economic Policies and the Common Good. Vancouver, BC, CAN: UBC Press.
Weaver, Bobby D. 2010. Kenneth E. Montague Series in Oil and Business History : Oilfield Trash : Life and Labor in the Oil Patch. College Station, TX, USA: Texas A&M University Press.
Yu, Tony F. 1997. Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Hong Kong. London, GBR: Routledge.
Zimbalist, Andrew. 2010. Circling the Bases : Essays on the Challenges and Prospects of the Sports Industry. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
here are some key texts in the field. I will arrange to have some sections made available.
Nancy Brooks, Kieran Donaghy, and Gerrit-Jan Knaap, 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning." Oxford Handbooks Online. [accessible through UM Library online]
Bendavid-Val, Avrom. 1991. Regional and Local Economic Analysis for Practitioners. 4th ed. New York: Praeger Publishers.
Moore, Terry, Stuart Meck, and James Ebenhoh. An economic development toolbox: strategies and methods. American Planning Association 2006.
White, Sammis B., Richard D. Bingham, and Edward W. Hill. 2003. Financing economic development in the 21st century. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe.
McLean, Mary L. 1992. Understanding your economy : using analysis to guide local strategic planning. 2. ed. Chicago, Ill.: Planners Press, American Planning Association.
Questions about the course? Feel free to contact me, best by email or in person.