Viewing entries in
Economic Development

Amazon HQ2: Really, New York?

Amazon HQ2: Really, New York?

A few weeks ago, Amazon announced major new operations in not one, but three locations: Queens, NYC; Crystal City, near Washington, DC; and Nashville. Our biggest question is not for Amazon but for the cities and states that offered them massive subsidy packages: Why?!

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Using tax incentives to subsidize retail is a lose-lose game that St. Louis's suburbs, desperate for short-term revenue, have been playing for too long. University City is mortgaging its future and selling out its small businesses with a $70 million subsidy for big-box development.

Crony Capitalism

Crony Capitalism

If we want to fix crony capitalism, what we really need is to localize capital.

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

In an area where the population is growing, one question often vexes neighbors: why is that house or storefront vacant? It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Why do landlords leave properties empty when they could be getting rent?

IoT: The Irrelevance of Thingies

IoT: The Irrelevance of Thingies

As technology becomes cheaper and more commonplace, it’s not driving us away from cities. Rather, it’s making the other attributes of place—especially human capital, social interaction and quality of life—more valuable.

Unconventional Wisdom on Activating a Downtown

Unconventional Wisdom on Activating a Downtown

What does it take to bring life back to a faded downtown? Contrary to conventional wisdom, big employers may underperform as revitalization engines, and small-bet approaches—improvisational, innovative, and low-risk—can deliver outsize rewards.

A Tax-Incentive Race to the Bottom Won't Make Texas Strong

A Tax-Incentive Race to the Bottom Won't Make Texas Strong

Texas has a history of aggressively using tax incentives to lure big business: a misguided economic development approach that produces little if any public benefit. Dallas’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters falls right in line with this unfortunate pattern.

The Mega-Project Exception That Proves the Rule?

The Mega-Project Exception That Proves the Rule?

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. But if a mega-project doesn’t have the characteristics—massive public debt, heavy infrastructure burdens, dubious if any benefit for the surrounding area—that usually make such projects so odious, is it still a bad deal?

"I Don't Give a (Bleep) About Akron!"

"I Don't Give a (Bleep) About Akron!"

Akron, Ohio’s subsidies for redevelopment of the failed Rolling Acres mall are a textbook case of the sunk cost fallacy: the tendency to examine new opportunities not on their own merit, but in the context of past investments.