Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science

First Advisor

Jonathan Winburn

Second Advisor

Robert Brown

Third Advisor

John Bruce

Relational Format



The American states routinely adopt various economic development policies but those policies do not always contribute to economic growth in the state. Scholars identify several reasons to explain why the policies do not always work. First, policies that do not address market demand; rather, provide economic incentives to bring inward industrial investments do not contribute to economic growth because the cost it takes to create jobs by such industrial recruitments is too high. Second, policies that are adopted out of inertia chosen from traditionally practiced policies do not work because they are not evaluated for their effectiveness in terms of meeting the current and future market demand. Third, policies that are adopted because neighboring or ideologically congruent states adopt them do not work because the appropriateness of a particular policy may not be the same in the pioneer and the follower states. These reasons imply that economic development policies that are not new enough to meet the current market demand, that are not helpful to promoting in-state entrepreneurship, that are designed to help out-of-state firms in extending their branch-plants, and that are inappropriate in terms of the home conditions can be ineffective for economic growth. I conduct empirical testing to examine these four expectations and the results suggest that innovative economic development policies, entrepreneurial policies, and policies that are congruent to the state’s industrial strength lead to economic growth, but policies that are meant for industrial recruitments lead to leakage from the state’s economy.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.