Economic Development Quarterly

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research is home to Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ). EDQ is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing and bringing to the attention of policymakers, decision makers, and researchers the latest quality research findings in economic development.

Upjohn’s mission, vision, and core values of providing unbiased quality research in the areas of employment policy, labor market analysis, and economic and workforce development initiatives closely align with that of EDQ’s mission to promote research supporting the formulation of evidence-based economic development policies, programs, and practices.

We invite you to browse our most current issue, and encourage authors to submit research to EDQ in the areas of Economic Development Theory, Location Theory, Economic Development Finance, Foreign Trade, Economic Development Incentives, Industry Studies, State and Local Economic Development Policy, Labor Economics and Workforce Policy, and Urban and Regional Economies. For questions or additional information please contact: George Erickcek, Co-Editor; Timothy J. Bartik, Co-Editor; Shawn Rohlin, Co-Editor; or Claudette Robey, Managing Editor, or phone EDQ at 269-385-0469.

Follow us: @EDQ_Journal

Latest Research Featured in Economic Development Quarterly

May 2023; volume 37 issue 2

The May issue of Economic Development Quarterly contains papers that cover a wide range of economic and community development issues, with two papers addressing the economic consequences of the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his paper, “The Impact of New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones on Local Employment: A Synthetic Control Approach,” Adam Scavette examines the potential employment effects of five Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs) in New Jersey. He concludes that they were ineffective in improving local employment conditions, even though employers operating in these zones benefitted from lower taxes, received job tax credits, and training assistance. Methodologically, the paper is worthy of note because of its use of the synthetic control method (SCM), which has been found to address known problems with standard difference-in-differences (DnDs) procedures. In DnD applications, the parallel trends assumption in the pretreatment period are often not met. SCM matches the treated areas with a counterfactual that shares pretreatment characteristics.

Taner Osman, in his paper “Understanding Divergence in the Performance of Business District Economies Among U.S. Metropolitan Regions,” examines the economic performance of central business districts (CBDs) in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Using a panel data set spanning nearly 25 years, the author found that CBDs grew in metro areas where “cognitive” jobs are concentrated, while declining in most other CBDs nationwide. In short, the paper confirms Alfred Marshall’s belief that cities exist because they generate “ideas in the air.” Knowledge-intensive industries and all the activities associated with them remain a key driver to the growth of central cities.

In their paper, “Collaboration and Public Participation for Municipal Economic Growth in Land Development Projects,” Ki Eun Kang and Kyungha Lee examined the potential economic growth impact of better public participation in midsized cities. They found that the reoccurring involvement of staff and citizens, both in person and online – formal and informal – was positively related to population and economic growth.

This issue features two papers that explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Margaret Cowell, Conaway Haskins, and Shaheera Sayed examined the “recovery” planning activities in economic development organizations (EDOs) in Virginia. In their paper, “Understanding Economic Development Efforts to Advance Inclusive Economic Recovery in Virginia,” they found through their survey work and several case studies that, while many EDOs cited inclusionary concerns in their planning documents, policy development and implication remained murky. The more optimistic take of the paper’s findings is that there is a solid interest in promoting inclusive economic development in local EDOs; however, there remains uncertainty on how to implement policy changes that would make it happen.

In the other COVID-related paper, “COVID-19 Induced Automation: An Exploratory Study of Critical Occupations,” Chun Song, Lionel J. Beaulieu, Indraneel Kumar, and Roberto Gallardo explore the occupational threat of automation induced by the pandemic. Using job posting statistics from 2016 to 2021, the authors developed two occupational indexes to track the impact of possible exposure and automation feasibility. The authors found that the pandemic threatened occupations in food preparation, service, and cleaning-related activities due to advancements in automation; however, medical and health care occupations are less vulnerable even though they experience severe exposure risks.

Finally, the issue offers two book reviews: “Engaging Place, Engaging Practices: Urban History and Campus-Community Partnerships” by Jay Gartrell, and G. Jason Jolley’s review of “Vibrant Virginia: Engaging the Commonwealth to Expand Economic Vitality.”