Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Christian Sellar

Second Advisor

Jody Holland

Third Advisor

John Conlon

Relational Format



Tunica County has come a long way over the past 30 years. From being named “America’s Ethiopia” in 1989 to leading the state in many aspects of economic development today, Tunica County has completely transformed their economy all on the back of the casino industry. Grounded in agglomeration theory, this research serves to confirm the quantitative data that claim that the casino clusters in Tunica County serve as the central driver of economic development for the area through the process of spillover. Through six qualitative interviews with officials from Tunica County government and economic development agencies, the collection of descriptive statistics provided by chambers of commerce and other agencies in the State of Mississippi, as well as the analysis of secondary literature, the researcher shows how the Tunica casinos are an example of an agglomeration, evaluates the role of the casino clusters in the bigger economic picture of Tunica County, traces the current obstacles to reinvestment in the industry, traces the history and development of the industry, addresses sustainability of the industry and how the casinos serve to continue development in the county, and provides policy recommendations to improve the industry and address the market inefficiencies holding the industry from reaching its full potential.



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