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GWIPP Research: Urban and Regional Policy


Title: Implementing Regionalism: Connecting Emerging Theory and Practice to Inform Economic Development

Funding: The SURDNA Foundation

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Robert Weissbord, RW Ventures, Andrea Sarzynski, Alice Levy, and Diana Hincapie

Start Date: February 2010

Status: Current

Category: Urban and Regional Policy

Summary: The project will  undertake a thorough literature and case study review on regional systems and how they interact to bring about regional economic growth, organize the theoretical, empirical and case study literature into a coherent framework, and draw out the implications for economic development practice, including the types of emerging policies and programs that show signs of effectively driving positive economic outcomes. We will then convene leading national experts to vet and expand upon this work -- identifying further principles and successful practices for applying a regional framework to economic development of all kinds -- as well as to outline an applied research and product development agenda to fill remaining gaps in our collective knowledge and practice.

Work products:

Working Paper 041 - Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion. Andrea Sarzynski and Alice Levy. George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). Draft August 16, 2010.

Working Paper 042- Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion. Hal Wolman and Diana Hincapie. George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). Draft December 17th, 2010.

Working Paper 044- Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth. Hal Wolman and Alice Levy. George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). Draft April, 2010.


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:

"Chronically-Distressed Metropolitan Area Economies," Travis St. Clair, Howard Wial (Brookings Institution), and Hal Wolman, April 2012. Paper presented at the annual meeting of The Urban Affairs Association, April 2012.

"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.


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: The Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities

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

Funding: CEOs for Cities

Start Date: September 2005

Status: Completed

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.


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

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, 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 21st 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: 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

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: Does the Community Reinvestment Act Encourage Integration of Urban Communities? Mortgage Lending, Homeownership and Black Wealth Accumulation in Metropolitan America

Researcher(s): Samantha Friedman (Dept. of Sociology, GWU) & Gregory D. Squires (Dept. of Sociology, GWU)

Funding: The Ford Foundation

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: This paper, which has been revised and resubmitted to Social Problems, examines the extent to which the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has helped racial minorities purchase homes in predominantly white neighborhoods from which they have traditionally been excluded. Using 2000 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports (HMDA) and 2000 decennial census data, we find that in metropolitan areas where a relatively high proportion of loans are made by institutions covered by the CRA, blacks and Latinos are more likely to purchase homes in predominantly white neighborhoods than in areas where relatively fewer loans are made by such lenders. This finding holds after controlling for a range of socioeconomic characteristics.

Products:

Working Paper 014 - Does the Community Reinvestment Act Help Minorities Access Traditionally Inaccessible Neighborhoods?, Samantha Friedman and Gregory D. Squires, July 2004.

Friedman, Samantha and Squires, Gregory, "Does the Community Reinvestment Act Help Minorities Access Traditionally Inaccessible Neighborhoods?" Social Problems, May 2005, Vol. 52, Issue 2, pp. 209–231.


Title: Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses

Researcher(s): Gregory D. Squires (GWIPP)

Funding: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: This grant funded the production of an edited book, Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses published by the Urban Institute Press.

Product:

Squires, Gregory. Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses. The Urban Institute Press, 2002.


Title: Ranking Areas by Dimensions of Sprawl

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman & Royce Hanson (GWIPP), George Galster & Jackie Cutsinger (Wayne State)

Funding: U.S. Geological Survey

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: The project measured sprawl on seven dimensions for a sample of 50 of the largest US Extended Urban Areas. It then applied factor analysis to derive a set of factors combining the dimensions and calculated the “sprawl” scores for each of the 50 areas for each of the factors. A paper, “Verifying Sprawl’s Distinct Dimensions,” was presented at the 2004 meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, Washington, DC, on April 2, 2004.

Product:

Galster, G., Hanson, R., Ratcliffe, M., Wolman, H. Published in Housing Policy Debate: “Wrestling Sprawl to the Ground: Defining and Measuring an Elusive Concept." 2001, v. 12 #4.


Title: Corporate Citizenship and Urban Problem Solving: The Changing Civic Role of Business Leaders in American Cities

Funding: The Brookings Institution

Researcher(s): Royce Hanson, Hal Wolman, David Connally, Katherine Pearson

Start Date: July 2004

Status: Completed

Category: Urban Policy

Summary: Historically, business leaders have played a major role in the building, rebuilding, and public policy of major American cities. However, recent urban literature has frequently asserted that there has been increasing disengagement of corporate leaders from civic efforts. In this study we identified and documented common patterns in the changes that have occurred in corporate citizenship and executive participation in civic affairs; analyzed factors that explain these changes in the structure, management, and organizational culture of firms; conducted two intensive case studies (Baltimore and Cleveland) that describe the responses of business leaders and their peak civic organizations to changes in membership, public leadership and agendas, and economic and social circumstances; and draw lessons that can be applied by business and political leaders seeking to establish and maintain public-private coalitions that are effective in resolving critical urban problems.

Products:

Hanson, R.; Wolman, H; Connolly, D.; McManmon, R.; and Pearson, K, “Corporate Citizenship and Urban Problem Solving: The Changing Civic Role of Business Leaders in American Cities,” Journal of Urban Affairs, forthcoming.


Title: Evaluating the Success of Urban Success Stories of the 1990s

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

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

Start Date: November 2001

Status: Completed

Category: Urban Policy

Summary: The project studied “urban success stories” which are defined as cities that gain the reputation of having rebounded from adversity, overcome their distressed condition, and experienced revitalization. The research evaluated the extent to which the well-being of the residents of these perceived “urban success story” cities actually improves as a result of the presumed success.

Products:

"Evaluating the Success of Urban Success Stories: Is Reputation a Guide to Best Practice?" Harold Wolman, Ned Hill, and Kimberly Furdell, 2004; Housing Policy Debate, 2005.

"Did Central Cities Come Back? Which Ones, How Far, and When?" Kimberly Furdell, Hal Wolman, and Ned Hill. Journal of Urban Affairs, 27(3), 283-306.

Working Paper 005 - Have Central Cities Come Back? Kimberly Furdell, Ned Hill, and Harold Wolman.


Title: Regional Information Clearinghouse

Researcher(s): Patricia Atkins (GWIPP) and Peggy Tadej (NARC)

Funding: National Association of Regional Councils

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: This research expanded the Regional Information Clearinghouse (RIC), a national regional database created by the National Association of Regional Councils that partitions the entire United States into approximately 600 regions. The database appeared in 1998 with 21 Regional Quality of Life Indicators and other selected demographic indicators. The current work added the 2000 Census Short Form data and additional profiles for approximately 40 regions that overlap the 600-plus core regions. RIC enables a metropolitan or rural area to access regional data defined comparably across all regions, allowing them to answer questions such as how they compare to other regions on the selected data or to determine whether they are moving ahead or falling behind as compared to their peer regions.


Title: Managing Growth and Workforce Housing in Edge Counties

Researcher(s): Patricia Atkins, Jessica Jordan, and Hal Wolman (GWIPP)

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: Researcher(s) completed detailed interviews with the primary policy officials responsible for growth management and affordable workforce housing in 37 of the fastest growing counties, including county managers, county executives, and chief county planners. Conversations with these officials show that much of their work continues to occur within planning tools and laws developed before rapid growth began, and that this situation increases their work load and reduces their capacity to respond in a comprehensive and strategic manner. These rapidly growing areas – with an onslaught of governance, fiscal and commercial decisions on land use – overtake the available community resources able to be devoted to handling growth and ensuring adequate housing supply. While factors such as sufficient amounts of developable land clearly deflate the immediate magnitude of growth and housing problems, the few counties with cohesive urban management plans better deploy resources and prepare for their fast-growth future.


Title: Did Central Cities Come Back?

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

Researchers: Hal Wolman, Kimberly Furdell, and Ned Hill (Cleveland State)

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Category: Urban Policy

Summary: During the late 1990s, commentators frequently heralded the comeback of America’s cities. This project examined the extent to which cities that were distressed in the 1980s could be said to have “come back” by the year 2000. It then modeled the economic and social structural determinants of city performance between 1980-2000 and identified those cities that performed significantly better or worse than the model would have predicted. Finally, it speculated on the reasons for these divergent performances – and particularly whether city or state policy could have played a role - and suggested a strategy for pursuing research to test these speculations. A paper, “Have Central Cities Come Back” was presented at the 2004 Urban Affairs Association Conference in Washington, DC on April 2, 2004.
Click here for the report.

Product:

Working Paper 005 - Have central cities come back?, Kimberly Furdell, Edward W. (Ned) Hill, and Harold Wolman.


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: Urban Policy

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: Central City Population Loss and State Legislative Influence: Are City-Suburban Coalitions the Answer?

Funding: The Brookings Institution

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Nicholas Lyon, Margaret Weir (University of California-Berkeley), Todd Swanstrom (University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Start Date: April 2005

Status: Completed

Category: Urban Policy

Summary: As central cities have lost population relative to the rest of the state (and particularly to suburbs), their representation in state legislatures has decreased. How have cities attempted to respond to this loss of representation in an effort to retain their influence? The research explores the extent to which cities have attempted to achieve regional coalitions with their suburbs, as advocated by some analysts such as Myron Orfield who argue that cities and some of their suburbs increasingly share common interests. We selected major cities in four states: Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. Through interviews with mayoral aides, state legislators, and other actors as well as analysis of documents and roll call votes on important issues, we assessed the extent to which cities have engaged in coalitions with their suburbs and, more generally, what geographic areas or interests they do form coalitions with.

For more information about the Brookings Institution, visit www.brookings.edu.

Product:

Working Paper 003 - Cities and State Legislatures: Changing Coalitions and the Metropolitan Agenda, Harold Wolman, Todd Swanstrom, Margaret Weir, & Nicholas Lyon.


Title: Managing Growth and Workforce Housing in Edge Counties

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

Start Date: June 2002

Category: Planning, Growth Management, and Sprawl

Status: Completed

Summary: Researcher(s) completed detailed interviews with the primary policy officials responsible for growth management and affordable workforce housing in 37 of the fastest growing counties, including county managers, county executives, and chief county planners. Conversations with these officials show that much of their work continues to occur within planning tools and laws developed before rapid growth began, and that this situation increases their work load and reduces their capacity to respond in a comprehensive and strategic manner. These rapidly growing areas – with an onslaught of governance, fiscal and commercial decisions on land use – overtake the available community resources able to be devoted to handling growth and ensuring adequate housing supply. While factors such as sufficient amounts of developable land clearly deflate the immediate magnitude of growth and housing problems, the few counties with cohesive urban management plans better deploy resources and prepare for their fast-growth future.

Product:

Atkins, Patricia. Managing Growth and Workforce Housing in Edge Counties: Findings of Fannie Mae Foundation Edge County Interviews. Conducted by Patricia Atkins, Jessica Jordan. and Hal Wolman. November 11, 2003.


Title: Housing and the Locational Attainment of Immigrants in Metropolitan America

Researcher(s): Samantha Friedman (Dept. of Sociology, GWU) and Emily Rosenbaum (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University)

Funding: The Fannie Mae Foundation

Start Date:

Status: Completed

Summary: This project has examined nativity-status differences in housing and neighborhood conditions in metropolitan America using data from the 2001 American Housing Survey. In the first paper, which is forthcoming in Housing Policy Debate, we found that when compared with native-born households, recently-arrived immigrant households are significantly more likely to be crowded, but either as likely or significantly less likely to live in poorer quality housing. Further analyses revealed, however, that race/ethnicity is a stronger predictor than immigrant status in predicting households' housing outcomes.