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Wayne State University Press

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Critical Evaluations of Economic Development Policies

Edited by Laura A. Reese and David Fasenfest

Business History, Urban Studies

Hardback
Published: April 2004
ISBN: 9780814329009
Pages: 224 Size: 6x9
$47.95
Review

Critical Evaluations of Economic Development Policies is a must-read for academics and planners who care about fostering social justice in communities.

— Nancy Kleniewski

The values that shape present-day economic development policies are often not plainly expressed. Critical Evaluations of Economic Development Policies shows how the use of nontraditional methods of evaluation can foreground the values that inform public policy and determine whether or not those values and the policies that arise from them are in the best interests of the community that adopts them. The methodology defined in this book not only provides means for judging the success or failure of economic development programs, but also offers tactics for judging how well policies address needs according to a community's own value system.

The essays in Critical Evaluations of Economic Development Policies establish critical models, illustrate how such models may be applied, and show how evaluations of a single program made from the perspectives of differing value systems lead to different conclusions about the success or failure of the program. In doing so, these essays demonstrate the crucial importance of continuing dialogue between those who make policies and those who assess them. This dynamic collection proposes to stimulate discussion among scholars, developers, and urban administrators to build awareness of the ways to foster completely informed policies and evaluate their outcomes.

Laura A. Reese is a professor in the urban planning program at Wayne State University.

David Fasenfest is associate professor of urban affairs in the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs at Wayne State University and senior research fellow at the Douglas Fraser Center for Workplace Issues.

Contributors Include:
Daniel Felsenstein, David Fasenfest, David L. Imbroscio, David W. Marcouiller, Jill L. Tao, John C. Leatherman, Jordan S. Yin, Joseph Persky, Laura A. Reese, Margaret Dewar, Richard C. Feiock, Virginia Carlson

The goal of community economic development is to create jobs and income, yet the residents most in need often do not gain from the programs. In this volume, Reese and Fasenfest definitively debunk traditional policy evaluation methods that measure how much economic development occurs rather than who benefits. The models provided by the authors offer alternative approaches that allow policy makers to weigh public and private interests, distinguish between economic and social goals, and include community stakeholders in the evaluation process. Critical Evaluations of Economic Development Policies is a must-read for academics and planners who care about fostering social justice in communities."

– Nancy Kleniewski, Bridgewater State College, author of Cities, Change, and Conflict