Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-155

**Published Version**

Economic Development Quarterly 25(1) (2011): 65-78




This paper describes the completion of a "comprehensive study of regionalism" that was conducted by a joint team of economists and economic development specialists for the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The project consisted of two main activities: an examination of the factors associated with economic development success and the creation of a practical interactive tool for EDA project assessment and comparison. Findings from surveys, interviews, and project case studies are discussed in terms of their support for a positive relationship between successful economic development efforts and factors such as leadership and private investment. Also, the authors discuss the creation of a quantitative assessment model utilizing well-known approaches such as economic impact multipliers and cluster theory. The primary contribution of this work to the existing body of EDA-focused research and evaluation literature is introducing a means of using standardized scores, also known as z-scores, to compare and assess economic development projects across both industries and regions.

Issue Date

July 2009


Funded by a National Research Program Grant, U.S. Economic Development Administration--p.3

Subject Areas

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Industry studies; Entrepreneurship and innovation; Transportation and infrastructure




Watts, Brad R., George A. Erickcek, Jacob Duritsky, Kevin O'Brien, et al. 2009. "What Should EDA Fund? Developing a Model for Pre-Assessment of Economic Development Investments." Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 09-155. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.