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]

Three scholars

August 8, 2008

During these week for different reasons I have found articles and books written by Zoltan J. Acs. I have to admit, that I have not read his work too much (until these last days), but I’m currently overwhelmed with his work. Right now, I’m reading his latest book “Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy” (2008) in which he compiles various articles. 

I know I have read things from him, but I guess I’m now in the process that any research goes through, rediscovering authors. 

Another book, that I have in my desk and it’s an interesting reading, (less academic than the previous), is another 2008 book. “The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By”. This book is written by Scott A. Shane. Many things he writes I have already studied and know, but is a nice way how he puts it. He writes very well too.

I’m also deeply grateful to all the material than my former professor and the secondary supervisor of my master thesis, has on his website. I need to write him, I don’t think he knows I started a phd. He’s Dr. Philip Shapira. One of the smartest teachers I’ve ever had. His notes are coming at handy when I start teaching soon.   

p.s. Today is 8-8-8, and it was the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.