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GWIPP Research: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies


Title:  Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Economic Activity: A Literature Review

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Researcher(s): Alice Levy, Hal Wolman, Garry Young

Start Date: June 2008

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: A review of existing theory and research findings on regional and local competitive advantage and on firm location decisions.  The purpose of the literature review was to inform the development of a proposal to study economic competitiveness in the Washington, DC region.

Products:

Working Paper 033 - Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment. Alice Levy, Robert Darst, Hal Wolman, and Garry Young, October 2008.

Working Paper 034 - Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Area Economic Activity. Hal Wolman, Alice Levy, Garry Young, and Pamela Blumenthal, September 2008.


Title: Regional Economic Resilience (click for more on the Building Resilient Region Network)

Funding: MacArthur Foundation (through the University of California-Berkeley)

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Pat Atkins, Sarah Ficenec, and Travis St. Clair

Start Date: June 2008

Status: Current

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies, Urban Policy, Economic and Industrial Policy

Summary:  As part of the MacArthur Foundation’s project on regional resilience, the primary goals of our study are to identify through rigorous quantitative analysis economically resilient and economically non-resilient regions, to explore the differences between the two (why are some resilient and others not), and to come to some conclusions about the way in which regional economies can become more resilient.  In particular we are examining whether regions that have experienced negative economic shocks recover and, if so, how. We are also exploring through a set of intensive case studies the role of economic agency (private sector decision making in markets, hierarchies, and networks) and public policy, planning, and politics, in that process.

Product:

"Exploring Regional Economic Resilience." Ned Hill (Cleveland State University), Howard Wial (Brookings Institution), and Hal Wolman, April 2007. Paper presented at the annual meeting of The Urban Affairs Association, April 2008.

Working Paper 040 - Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience. Edward Hill, Travis St. Clair, Howard Wial, Hal Wolman, Pat Atkins, Pamela Blumenthal, Sarah Ficenec, Alec Friedhoff, for Brookings, George Washington University, Urban Institute, Building Resilient Region Project conference on Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects: Building Resilient Regions. Washington, DC, May 20-21, 2010.

Working Paper 043- Building Regional Economic Resilience: What Can We Learn from Other Fields. Sarah V. Ficenec. George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). Draft December, 2010.

Working Paper 045- Building Economic Development Networks in Detroit: A Comparison of Methods of Social Network Analysis. Sarah Ficenec. George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). Draft April, 2010.


Title: Assessing Change in Ohio’s Older Industrial Cities

Funding: The Brookings Institution

Researcher: Hal Wolman

Start Date: March 2008

Status: Completed 

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies, Urban and Regional Policy

Summary:  The purpose of this study is  to assist Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program in examining the changing fortunes of Ohio’s older industrial cities since 1950.  The research traces decade by decade change in population, economic well-being, and industrial structure from 1950 onwards of Ohio cities that had a population of at least 20,000 as of 1950.  In addition, using the methodology developed for the prior national weak market study conducted by GWIPP for Brookings, we identify indicators of urban condition and performance and employ these indicators to develop a typology that places Ohio cities in categories of weak, moderate, and strong performers in an Ohio context.


Title: What Happens After Manufacturing Jobs Disappear? Non-Manufacturing Alternatives for Industrial Regions

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Nancy Y. Augustine, Pat Atkins, Leah Curran, Janet Stephens, Pamela Blumenthal, Howard Wial (Brookings Institution), and Alec Friedhoff (Brookings Institution)

Funding: Sloan Foundation

Start Date: November 2006

Status: Current

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: The continued loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon that continues to be a concern to business, labor, elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government, and researchers. Yet we know relatively little about what happens in places that have lost manufacturing jobs. Have other jobs filled the vacuum, or is there a net loss of employment? If other jobs have replaced manufacturing jobs, what sectors have they been in, and how do wages in sectors where jobs have been gained compare to wages in the manufacturing sectors where jobs have been lost? What steps have the public sector, business and other sectors taken to change the industry, technological, and/or product mix of the metropolitan area economy, and how effective have those steps been? The study will focus on U.S. metropolitan areas that had concentrations of manufacturing jobs above the national average in 1990 and that lost manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2005. It will describe the patterns of manufacturing job loss and non-manufacturing job gain (or, in a few cases, loss) that occurred in these areas. Through a set of case studies of eight metropolitan areas, it will then examine various policies and strategies by which government, business, and/or civic institutions sought to replace lost manufacturing jobs with new jobs in non-manufacturing industries.

Product:

Regional Policies and Strategies for Replacing Lost Manufacturing Jobs. Harold Wolman and Howard Wial, May 2009.


Title: Significant Features of the Property Tax

Researcher(s): Charlotte Kirschner, Pat Atkins, Hal Wolman, Garry Young, Kristin Broughton, Dan Coogan, Matt Darst, Dillon Kiel, Lisa Lowry, Daniel Ramsey

Funding: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Start Date: June 2006

Status: Current

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy

Summary: This multi-year undertaking between the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and GWIPP aims to provide a rich compendium of data and information for policymakers, practitioners, elected officials, researchers, and journalists on the local property tax in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It is inspired by and meant to replace, at least partially, the Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism report that the US Advisory Commission of Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) published annually before the Commission was disbanded in 1996.  The online database makes it easy to compare features of the property tax across states or to learn about the property tax in detail for one or more specific states. Access to the database is available at no cost at: http://www.lincolninst.edu/subcenters/significant-features-property-tax/. The database currently provides features of the property tax as they were in calendar year 2006. These data will be updated annually, with 2007 and 2008 data expected to be released during the spring and summer 2010. 


GWIPP and Lincoln have held two property tax roundtables during the course of the project. The first round table brought property tax scholars from across the country to Washington, DC in October 2007 to discuss the erosion of the property tax base. The second roundtable, held in February 2009, examined the impacts of changes in the property tax on local autonomy.   GWIPP staff presented research papers at both roundtables. An edited volume from the first roundtable, “Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes, and Consequences,” was published in May 2009 and is available at http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/1570_erosion-property-tax-base. The edited volume from the second roundtable is forthcoming.

Products:

Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes, and Consequences. Nancy Y. Augustine, Michael Bell, David Brunori, and Joan M. Youngman, 2009.

The Property Tax and Local Autonomy. Michael Bell, David Brunori, and Joan Youngman, editors, forthcoming.

Working Paper 027 - The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services, David Brunori, Richard Green, Michael Bell, Chanyung Choi, Bing Yuan, March 2006.

Working Paper 035 - Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States. By Hal Wolman, Robert McManmon, Michael Bell, and David Brunori.


Title: The Impact of Multinational Enterprise Strategy on Indigenous Enterprises:  Horizontal Spillovers and Crowding Out in Developing Countries

Funding: National Science Foundation

Researcher(s): Jennifer Spencer

Start Date: September 2006

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: This project seeks to understand how multinational enterprise (MNE) investment into a developing country affects indigenous firms operating in the same industry.  Critics of globalization have drawn attention to the potential negative impact of MNE investment, implying that countries' economic development policies should focus on indigenous entrepreneurship rather than foreign investment.  For instance, MNEs can pose strong competition, appropriate scarce resources, and offer employment alternatives to individuals who would otherwise found their own business.  However, in other cases, MNEs can benefit firms in the same industry, implying that countries' strategies to attract foreign investment can complement rather than run counter to policies to promote indigenous entrepreneurship.  For example, MNEs may strengthen the local supply infrastructure, expose local managers to new technologies and work practices, or train employees who eventually move to local companies. 

This project begins from the premise that some MNE investment has a net negative impact, and other MNE investment a net positive impact, on indigenous firms in the same industry.  It then seeks to understand how the characteristics and strategies of MNEs influence the degree to which these positive and negative effects occur.  In order to gain insight into these issues, the project will include a large-scale survey of MNEs and indigenous firms operating in the country of Ghana.  Additionally, in-person interviews of MNE managers, owners and managers of indigenous firms, and policy makers in Ghana will be undertaken in order to both put statistical results into perspective and develop materials to be disseminated for educational purposes.  An understanding of the likely impact of an MNE’s investment, as well as the mechanisms by which positive and negative effects are most likely to occur, will assist developing countries’ policy makers in their efforts to lure foreign investment, give MNE managers greater insight into the impact of their activities on host countries, and help managers of indigenous firms better respond to MNE entry.


Title: Weak Market Cities: Research for the Brookings Institution’s “ America’s Core Cities” Project

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman and Kimberly Furdell, Ned Hill (Cleveland State University), Nancy Y. Augustine, and Pamela Blumenthal

Funding: The Brookings Institution

Start Date:

Status: Current

Summary:
Preparation of a report for the Brookings Institution’s “The Campaign for America’s Core Cities: Research and Policy Development” project. The paper will define “weak market cities”; develop methodologies for identifying and ranking cities along a number of indicators of performance; create a statistically-based typology for weak market cities; and explain differences among core cities in terms of their condition in 2000 and performance between 1990 and 2000.

The current phase of the project broadens the scope of the original study to further characterize the differences between "weak market" and "non-weak market" cities, develop models to uncover which characteristics may have a causal relationship with key aspects of economic and residential health, and then expand analysis to examine  additional cities within this framework.

Products:

Wolman, H., Hill, E., Blumenthal, P., and Furdell, K., “Understanding Economically Distressed Cities,” in R. McGahey and J. Vey (eds.), _Retooling for Growth: Building a 21^st Century Economy in America’s Industrial Regions_, Brookings Institution Press, 2008 pp. 151-178.

Working Paper 032 - Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States. Pamela Blumenthal, Edward (Ned) Hill, and Hal Wolman, January 2008.

Working Paper 021 - Toward Understanding Urban Pathology: Creating a Typology of 'Weak Market' Cities, Kimberly Furdell and Hal Wolman, April 2006.

Working Paper 018 - Economic Well-being and Where We Live: Accounting for Geographic Cost-of-living Differences, Leah Curran, Harold Wolman, Edward W. (Ned) Hill and Kimberly Furdell, April 2005.


Title: Estimating Economic Impacts of Homeland Security Measures

Researcher(s): Joe Cordes, Anthony Yezer (Economics), Garry Young, Mary Katherine Foreman, and Charlotte Kirschner

Funding: Homeland Security Institute

Start Date: 2005

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: Information on the economic impact of policies and programs undertaken to enhance homeland security is important in the future design and evaluation of measures undertaken to enhance homeland security. This project will: (a) provide a complete list of the types of countermeasures that have been or might be proposed to reduce either the risk or the consequences of terrorist attacks; (b) produce an in-depth survey of both the economic literature and federal government "best practices" and official guidelines for estimating the economic impacts these measures; and (c) apply one or more of the methods identified in (b) to estimate the economic impact of an actual measure (or set of measures) that have been or might be implemented to reduce either the risks of, or the consequences of terrorist attacks.


Title: The Effect of State Policy on Urban Performance

Funding: The Fannie Mae Foundation

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman and Kimberly Furdell (GWIPP), and Ned Hill (Cleveland State University).

Start Date: September 2004

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: To what extent and how does state government policy affect the performance of major cities within the state on a wide variety of indicators of resident well-being? The project will proceed by first identifying cities that have performed well between 1990-2000 on each of a series of 20 indicators (e.g., change in poverty rate, unemployment rate, housing affordability, crime rate, etc.). It will then model performance on each of these indicators to identify cities that performed better than the model would have predicted. Case studies will then be conducted to assess whether this better than expected performance was due to state (or city) policies directed at the state’s cities.

Products:

Working Paper 016 - State Policy Effects on Urban Performance. Kimberly Furdell, Hal Wolman, Ned Hill, and Elaine Weiss, April 2005.

Working Paper 020 - Explaining City Performance: How Important is State Policy? Pamela Blumenthal, Kimberly Furdell, Elaine Weiss, and Hal Wolman, April 2006.

Working Paper 029 - What Explains Central City Performance? Hal Wolman, Ned Hill (Cleveland State University), Pat Atkins, Pamela Blumenthal, Kimberly Furdell, and Elaine Weiss, February 2007 (revised).

"States and Their Cities: Partnerships for the Future." Hal Wolman, Ned Hill, Patricia Atkins, Pamela Blumenthal, Leah Beth Curran, Kimberly Furdell, Jo Anne Schneider, and Elaine Weiss, 2007.

"State Policy Effects on Urban Performance." Kimberly Furdell, Hal Wolman, Ned Hill, and Elaine Weiss, April 2005. Paper presented at the annual meeting of The Urban Affairs Association, April 2008.


Title: The Effect of State and Local Fiscal Policy on Local Economic Development

Researcher(s): David Brunori, Michael Bell, Hal Wolman (GWIPP), Joe Cordes, and Richard Green, School of Business (now at Lusk Center for Real Estate)

Funding: National Center for Real Estate Research

Start Date: August 2004

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: Provide a synthesis and critique of current knowledge and research on 1) the factors driving local economic growth and development and 2) the effects of state and local fiscal policy upon local economic growth and development. The report will make clear where there is clear consensus, where there is disagreement, and where research is currently lacking.

Product:

Working Paper 026 - State and Local Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth and Development. Michael Bell, David Brunori, Richard Green, Hal Wolman, Joe Cordes, and Tanya Qadir, August 2005.


Title: The Economics of Open Access Journals

Researcher(s): Christopher Snyder (GWIPP) and Mark McCabe (Georgia Institute of Technology).

Funding: The Open Society Institute

Start Date: October 2003

Status: Completed

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: A new business model for scholarly journals, open access, has gained wide attention recently. An open-access journal's articles are available over the Internet free of charge to all readers; revenue to cover publication costs comes from authors' fees. In this project we will construct an economic model of the journals market. We will use the model to determine if and under what conditions the open access model is (a) competitively viable and (b) socially efficient.


Title: The Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities

Funding: CEOs for Cities

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Royce Hanson, Pamela Blumenthal, Nancy Y. Augustine, and Ned Hill (Cleveland State University)

Start Date: September 2005

Status: Ongoing

Category: Social Policy, Economic Policy

Summary: What are the ingredients that go into making a city successful? What public policy processes, investment strategies, and political actions are required to support the ingredients for city success? Affiliates of CEOs for Cities, a network of elected and appointed officials and business leaders in American cities, are being asked these questions to provide insight on the policies that help cities achieve success and help prioritize the allocation of political energy, capital, and financial resources to promote city renewal.

Products:

Blumenthal et. al, "Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities," Report to CEOs for Cities, June 16th, 2008.

Wolman et. al, "Bringing Urban Leaders Together for Effective Change: What We Know." October 27th, 2006.

Blumenthal, P., Hill, E., and Wolman, H., “ Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States,” Urban Studies, March, 2009, pp. 605-627.

Wolman, H., Hill, E., Blumenthal, P., and Furdell, K., “Understanding Economically Distressed Cities,” in R. McGahey and J. Vey (eds.), Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Industrial Regions, Brookings Institution Press, 2008 pp. 151-178.

Curran, L.; Wolman, H.; Hill, E.; and Furdell, K, “Economic Well-Being and Where We Live:
Accounting for Geographic Cost of Living Differences,” Urban Studies, December, 2006,
pp. 2443-2466.