The Future of State and Local Economic Development Policy: What Research Is Needed


  • This article is a slightly revised version of my keynote address to the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Southern Regional Science Association. I appreciate the opportunity provided by Dan Rickman for me to give this speech, and also his interest in presenting it to a broader audience in this journal. I thank Claire Black for her assistance with the speech and article.


Research will be more relevant to state and local economic development policy if this research focuses on research gaps. One gap is better estimates of how local labor demand policies affect local jobs. A second gap is better understanding of how labor supply policies affect overall local labor market outcomes, adjusting for spillovers and displacement. A third gap is better understanding of how effects of local employment shocks vary with local labor market conditions.