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Local Government in Economic Development: Western Europe vs. North America.


15666. Local Government in Economic Development: Western Europe vs. North America.

This paper provides an overview and analysis of the factors contributing to the historic differences between Western Europe (both as independent nations and as the European Union) and North America (the U.S. and Canada) in the involvement of local government in economic development. The analysis begins with an overview of locally-based economic development and regional policy in the two regions. Following this, the analysis considers some of the specific factors which have contributed to the differences in these two regions' approach to local economic development, considering in particular structural issues (e.g., political-legal structure, population, urban structure, etc.), regional policy objectives, and differences in labor mobility. It will be argued that the European-North American differences in local economic development programs and general approach to regional policy have both been unintentionally shaped by forces related to geography, demography, structure of government and the weight of history, and have been deliberately shaped by each region's formal or defacto regional policy objectives. KEYWORDS: local economic development regional economics local economies governments. 13 pages, 27 footnotes, 11 bibliographic sources. 4,763 words.
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