A few readings on Local Economic Development

May 5, 2010

I find so interesting learning about Local Economic Development. First of all because, why should LED be important? And second, What is the purpose of it? Once you start thinking about it, it gets complicated.

Comparing what local governments do, you can see that there is not so many differences withing different countries, and that neither there is too much of a difference between political left and right. Also another thing is that looking at historical examples, one can find the same approaches over and over.

Another point is that there is a great interdependence at the regional, national and global scale. Furthermore the path dependance of a city, is extremely relevant. In other words, the local history matters a lot.

Anyways, recently I went to my wife’s Grandma funeral in Utah. While she was visiting with her family I spent a couple of days at the library of the Brigham Young University, which I found pretty good. There were many interesting books, in fact some of them about Denmark are not available back at Aalborg. I think this happens because there was an enormous Danish immigration to Utah, and therefore there is a lot interest about Denmark in Utah.

Here are some titles of books I went over:

Local Economic Development in Denmark.
Sven Illeris (ed.) 1988. AKF. Local Governments’ Research Institute. Copenhagen.

[Illeris is an economic geographer that has made a great job bringing together a good group of researchers on the issues. I particularly enjoyed the chapter of] Henning Snell :Local Government Promotion of Economic Activities-Publicity Stunt or Community Development?”

Economic and Political Trends in Danish Local Government. National Association of Local Authorities in Denmark. 1981. [A perfect summary that I needed]

Why Don’t State and Local Economic Development Programs Produce Economic Development?
By Margaret Dewar. State and Regional Research Center. University of Minnesota. 1992 [A brilliant report much needed]

Understanding Local Economic Development. Malizia & Feser. Center for Urban Policy Research. 1999
[It discussed a few theories relevant for local economic development, such as:
Economic Base Theory
Extension of Economic Base Theory
Regional Theories of Concentration and Diffusion
Regional Growth Theory
Trade Theory
Product-Cycle Theory
Entrepreneurship Theories
Theories of Flexible Production

With some bias towards quantitative studies, but cool]

Local Economic Development Efforts in the Youngstown-Warren Area. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Trade, Productivity and Economic Growth of the Joint Economic Committee Congress of the United States ninety-seventh Congress. December 14, 1981. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington, 1982.
[This is the one that I probably enjoyed the most. It took me a whole day to read it and take notes, It was good because it has many key people (entrepreneurs, politicians, academics, community organizers, business owners, etc.) giving their serious opinion about the Local Economic Development of an area which never took off]

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2 Responses to “A few readings on Local Economic Development”

  1. carlos9900 Says:

    Concerning Youngstown, it was chosen as one of the 8 cities that might dissappear in the world. http://weburbanist.com/2009/08/13/8_cities_abandonment_deserted_modern/


  2. So far Local Economic Development had received little attention of the world politicians, policy makers & researchers as they are striving towards international capitalism & the ever – growing processes of globalization. Desoite so many changes & restructuring of the world economy, many people in Africa remained unresponsive. Local Economic Development that will help these local communities of Africa must sooner be launched so that to make them enjoy the benefits of global market & other opportunities while maintaining their socio – economic, cultural & political situations.


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