How States Can Direct Economic Development to Places and People in Need

5 Jan 2022


To address local disparities and help struggling areas thrive, governments at all levels have spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the past 40 years on a range of geographically targeted, or “place-based,” economic development programs — mostly in the form of financial incentives — designed to boost job creation and business investment, incentivize real estate development, or increase property values in specific places. But decades of research have shown that governments have struggled to effectively target these programs to the people and places most in need.

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