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) ctools (under Resources);
(b) directly via the web;
(c) via a new "e-textbook" trial program (linked to ctools). The two e-textbooks are:
- Todaro, Michael P., and Stephen C. Smith. 2009. Economic development. 10th ed, Addison-Wesley series in economics. Boston: Pearson Addison Wesley.
- Blakely, Edward James, and Nancey Green Leigh. 2010. Planning local economic development: theory and practice. 4th ed. Los Angeles: Sage
(d) online books (via UM's "ebrary" -- do set up a free account). Online texts (in the "UP539 Economic Development" folder) include:
Altshuler, Alan A., and David E. Luberoff. 2003. Mega-Projects : The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
Banister, David, and Joseph Berechman. 1999. Transport Investment and Economic Development. London, GBR: Routledge.
Bigio, Anthony G., and Bharat Dahiya. 2004. Urban Environment and Infrastructure : Toward Livable Cities. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank Publications.
Bonne, Alfred. 1998. Studies in Economic Development With Special Reference to Conditions in the Underdeveloped Areas of Western Asia and India. Florence, KY: Routledge.
Burchell, Robert, Anthony Downs, and Sahan Mukherji. 2005. Sprawl Costs : Economic Impacts of Unchecked Development. Covelo, CA, USA: Island Press.
Evans, Peter, ed. 2002. Livable Cities? : Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability. Ewing, NJ, USA: University of California Press.
Freeman, Lance. 2006. There Goes the 'Hood : Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
Friedmann, John. 2005. China's Urban Transition. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
Fujita, Masahisa, Paul Krugman, and Anthony J. Venables. 1999. Spatial Economy : Cities, Regions and International Trade. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Gertler, Meric S., and Trevor J. Barnes. 1999. New Industrial Geography : Regions, Regulations and Institutions. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Hamel, Pierre, Henri Lustiger-Thaler, and Margit Mayer. 2000. Urban Movements in a Globalising World. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.
Kahn, Matthew E. 2006. Green Cities : Urban Growth and the Environment. Washington, DC, USA: Brookings Institution Press.
Landry, Charles. 2008. Creative City : A Toolkit for Urban Innovators (2nd Edition). London, , GBR: Earthscan.
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. 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.
Michael, Graham, and Woo Jean. 2009. Fuelling Economic Growth : The Role of Public-Private Sector Research in Development. Ottawa, ON, CAN: IDRC Books.
Ong, Paul, and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, eds. 2006. Jobs and Economic Development in Minority Communities. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.
Ozawa, Connie P. 2004. Portland Edge : Challenges in Growing Communities. Covelo, CA, USA: Island 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.
Stobart, Jon. 2005. The First Industrial Region : North-west England, c.1700-60. Manchester, , GBR: Manchester University Press.
Van Kooten, G. Cornelis. 1993. Land Resource Economics and Sustainable Development : Economic Policies and the Common Good. Vancouver, BC, CAN: UBC Press.
Wiewel, Wim, and Gerrit Knaap, eds. 2005. Partnerships for Smart Growth. Armonk, NY, USA: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
Yu, Tony F. 1997. Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Hong Kong. London, GBR: Routledge.
Reserve Readings (optional):
I have requested several books to be placed on reserve (second floor, AAEL in the Duderstadt Center across the street from the A&AB). They are NOT required reading, but are well-known texts in the field. They may be useful to purchase as well (note: NOT ordered at any local bookstore, though you can find on the web).
TO BE PLACED ON RESERVE at the AAEL (NOT AVAILABLE YET):
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.