Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

An Introduction to A History of American State and Local Government: As Two Ships Pass in the Night


Dr. Ron W. Coan

Editor of the Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

Senior Fellow, Council for Community and Economic Research


May's  Issue:

As Two Ships:

A History of American State and Local Government: As Two Ships Pass in the Night

A New Way to Think About State and Local Economic Development

Observations and Perspective from my History of American State and Local Economic Development , 1789 to 1980's. First in a two-issue introduction into the findings and new insight that arises from our two-hundred plus years of professional and policy experience. Yogi Berra supposedly claimed "the future ain't what it used to be" --- well either is our past. Back to the roots of American economic development. How we got to where we are today.



Latest Articles

June 2012

The Triumph of the City

An instant best-seller, Edward Glaeser”s, The Triumph of the City, is an unabashed love sonnet for the world’s largest cities. Triumph appears to be a clarion call and a focused strategy of ensuring these large central cities are able to maintain their cutting edge as the engines of world prosperity. But does Glaeser want to save all cities? Or just a chosen few?

May 2012

Is This Time Any Different?

Our discussion on the New Normal and the Post-Financial Crisis centers chiefly around two important publications. The New Normal label was developed by Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of America’s largest asset manager, PIMCO. The second conceptual position is drawn from Reinhart & Rogoff’s, This Time is Different. El-Erian put his concept together in 2008-2009 period and Reinhart and Rogoff in early 2010. They have been mostly right thus far into 2012.

May 2012

May 2012

The Big Sort

The Big Sort may be one of the most underappreciated books applicable to local economic development. Dealing with how the culture wars emerged in our cities and towns over the last serveral decades, the Big Sort provides some valuable perspective about the links between culture, politics and local economic development.

May 2012

December 2011

December 2011

Richard Florida and the Great Reset

The New Normal has acquired a new label — Richard Florida calls it “The Great Reset”. Ever heard of the “Spatial Fix? Discover what Florida believes to be opportunities arising from our present, rather dismal world. Warning! You must be talented and creative to enter this brave new world. Once again the Old Curmudgeon offers his usual fare of blather, summary, and critique–alongside a few morsels of real information and perspective.

October 2011

Business Climate in the New Normal

The Curmudgeon thinks State Business Climate will be a very prominent economic development strategy during the New Normal period–for the wrong reasons. Sadly, that poor withered soul strongly believes that the concepts and methodologies, which underscore business climate as an economic development strategy, are seriously flawed. In his warped mind he sees the business climate strategy rests upon indexes constructed […]

September 2011

Turning the Page

This month the Curmudgeon is wandering into the politics and local economic development topic. But warning is in order; the pompous fool is not going to concern himself with the obvious everyday practitioner concern of how to best cope with the deleterious effects of political meddling into solid and effective local programs and initiatives. Instead, the old codger is delving into various “theories” of local politics and their implications on local economic development. This is on top of last month’s theme of growth and innovation economics in which the Curmudgeon again focused on “theories”, this time economic. What is with this fascination with “theories”?

September 2011

Looking for Help in all the Wrong Places!ORWhy Urban Political Scientists are Little Help to an Economic Developer

The topic this month is urban political science theories and approaches. The question we pose is if urban political scientists offer any guidance to economic developers in field on how to cope with politics in their daily job? Do they provide some description, case studies, outlines or analysis of the forces which whipsaw practicing economic developers? Do their theories and approaches offer some degree of understanding what goes on politically with the sub-state politics and program administration? This question allows the Curmudgeon to present a review of how urban political scientists conceptualize urban politics in a vein similar to last month’s assessment of the underlying economic theory of innovation and the knowledge economy. At the same time, the review could offer nuggets of assistance to the struggling economic developer. God knows, the economic developer in the field can use some help with politics.