Targeting in Economic Development: Comparative State Perspectives

Hansen, Susan B.
March 1989
Publius: The Journal of Federalism;Spring89, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p47
Academic Journal
This article examines recent efforts to target state industrial policy along three dimensions: sectoral aid to specific businesses or economic activities, geographic aid to growing or declining regions, and direct assistance to the unemployed. While the states have done better with sectoral targeting than opponents of a federal industrial policy have feared, industrial policy must compete with many other state programs, including more traditional economic development efforts based on advertising and tax expenditures. Only a few states have managed to channel much state aid to displaced workers or distressed communities. Despite some evidence as to the success of industrial policy focused on limited areas or activities, dilution of policy focus and underinvestment of resources characterize state industrial policy efforts to date.


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