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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.
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Emil E. Malizia is professor, chair, and director of the dual degree program, department of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has extensive research experience in the areas of urban, rural, and regional development and redevelopment. His writings have appeared in the Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, Journal of the American Planning Association, and American Journal of Health Promotion.Review:
“Economic development is a critical component of the successful (re)development of inner cities, older suburbs, edge cities, and rural hamlets, as well as metropolitan areas. Telecommunications and e-commerce are changing the game plans for communities seeking to retain and grow existing businesses and attract firms that will provide job opportunities and enhance the lifestyle of all residents. The authors of Understanding Local Development, who teach economic development, have organized their classroom notes into a well presented introductory text on basic models of economic growth, change, and development... [This book] is useful for students in planning, economics, and geography, as well as in business administration, as an introduction to traditional economic theories that can be applied to location analysis, strategic business development, and public policy... For practitioners, the text provides an update on models and theories.”
—Marilyn P. Hett, APA Journal
“Malizia and Feser attempt to discuss most of the major economic theories of the 20thcentury with respect to how they inform the practice of local economic development. They write in a very non-mathematical fashion. With few exceptions, they take care to define economic jargon as the terms come up in the text. The book should be understandable to any determined reader with a reasonably good generalist background... [T]his is a good book that will very likely do much to deepen how students conceptualize the economic development process... By focusing on theory, they have produced a work that will be of enduring utility, primarily to students, but also to that rare economic development practitioner who is willing and bale to take some time to reflect deeply on the work at hand. The book is certainly a worthwhile read for faculty lecturing on economic development in their courses.”
—Scott Loveridge, Journal of Regional Science
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