Making Progress in Relating Values, Goals, and Outcomes in the Evaluation of Local Economic Development Policy

Smoke, P.
Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3.

Laura Reese and David Fasenfest highlight important conceptual, technical, and procedural issues regarding the relationship between values, goals, and results in the analysis of local economic development. Less insight is provided on how to make progress in resolving the difficult problems they outline. Experiences in developing countries, where analysts have long wrestled with similar concerns, indicate that improvements in designing, implementing, and evaluating local economic development policies can be realized by focusing on certain types of procedural reforms, including the use of multidisciplinary ex-ante policy appraisal; the adoption of a more broadly inclusive process to define, implement, and monitor local economic development policies; and greater emphasis on analysis of the specific institutional context in which local economic development policies must function. Recent work in the United States also suggests that policy makers should direct more attention to the critical problem of enforcing local economic development policy.

Wagner Faculty