Cleveland State University

Economic Development

Research Topics

Community Development

Hill, Edward W., Harold L. Wolman, and Kimberly Furdell, Did central cities come back? Which ones, how far, and why? Journal of Urban Affairs, 27(3) (2005): 283-305

Much has been made of the revival of distressed cities during the 1990s, yet how much of this asserted revival really worked its way down to residents? We find that residents of distressed central cities were generally worse off in 2000 than in 1980. We construct an index of the economic well-being of central city residents for the 98 central cities that had at least 125,000 residents in 1980 with metropolitan area populations of at least 250,000. We then compare the change in the economic well-being of residents of the 33 cities with the lowest index
scores in 1980 against (1) their own performance over this time period, (2) the performance of the 65 non-distressed central cities, and (3) the performance of the nation. In the third section we build regression models of change in the index and of each index component to determine what explains the change in economic well-being of city residents.

Hill, Edward W., Harold L. Wolman, and Kimberly Furdell, Evaluating the success of urban success stories: is reputation a guide to best practice? Housing Policy Debate, 15(4) (2004):965-997

Do the reputations of central cities that have reportedly revitalized match reality? Can reputation alone be used to select best practices in urban public policy? In replicating research conducted a decade ago, we asked a panel of urban and economic development experts to identify, out of the universe large, distressed central cities in 1990, those that had successfully revitalized between 1990 and 2000. We compared the performance of these successful cities with the performance of cities not perceived to be successful on composite index of the change in the economic well-being of residents from 1990 to 2000, as well as on a weighted index of economic, social, fiscal, demographic change between 1990 and 2000.
Regardless of which index was used, there was a low correlation between reputation and reality. We draw lessons from this experiment on relying best practice reputations in formulating and propagating public policies.

Burgess, Patricia, Ruth Durack, and Edward W. Hill, Re-imaging the rust belt: Can Cleveland sustain the renaissance? In Sam Bass Warner and Lawrence J. Vale (Eds.) Imaging the city (New Brunswick, NJ: CUPR Press, 2001): 95-117.

A team of Clevelanders - historian Patricia Burgess, urban designer Ruth Durack, and economist Edward Hill - continues the evaluation of the fused politics of image-making and land-use planning. In the 1970s, Cleveland, like the Bronx, suffered a national reputation as a dying city. Re-imaging the whole city was the new goal, and rebuilding its downtown was the heart of the undertaking. Downtown renewal, however, called into play a different set of actors than the efforts to revive a residential district. Like the Bronx, however, the nature of the planning process itself exerted a powerful force upon both the image sought and the building that followed.

Hill, Edward W. and Jeremy Nowak, Nothing left to lose: Radical policy changes are required to uncover the competitive advantages of America's distressed cities, The Brookings Review Summer 2000): 23-26. ***
Portions of this article were reprinted as: Cities that have forgotten their regional economies: Strategies for America's distressed cities, Greater Philadelphia Regional Review, with Jeremy Nowak (Fall 2000): 8-11 and Wanted: A Camden exit strategy, Philadelphia Inquirer.

When we first started work on this article, we called it "Cities Forgotten by Their Regional Economies." But as we reflected more on the competitive position of distressed central cities, we realized that the title was wrong. Cities have not been forgotten by their regional economies; rather, all too often, the opposite has happened. Distressed central cities have not, or perhaps cannot, react to changes in their current competitive positions within their regional economies.
The urban employment renaissance of the 1990s has been largely confined to a few large central cities, bypassing many others and avoiding scores of formerly industrial small to mid-sized central cities. Our challenge is to understand why distressed central cities such as Camden, New Jersey, or Detroit, Michigan?have had trouble adjusting to competitive realities and then to try to devise public policies that allow them to uncover their competitive advantages.

Hill, Edward W., Comeback Cleveland by the numbers: The economic performance of the Cleveland-Akron Metropolitan Area. In David Sweet, David Beach, and Kathryn Wertheim Hexter (eds.) The new American city looks to its regional future (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1999): 77-100.

If Greater Cleveland is to extend its comeback beyond glitzy downtown revitalization, it must overcome a number of underlying economic challenges - especially the lack of employment growth in its major industries and the relatively low educational attainment of its workforce. The overall challenge will be to create a balanced economic recovery that won't leave behind a large part of the region's population.

Assessment of the Rising Tide Initiative of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland: The Urban Center, June 6, 1997).

The Urban League of Greater Cleveland and the Urban Center of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University worked together during 1993 to develop a work readiness program directed primarily at underemployed and unemployed African American men. The proposed program was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development late in 1994. During the first half of 1995, the staff of the Urban League planned and developed the program and identified the target group. At this time the Urban League's Board of Directors, leadership, and staff decided they were to address the most difficult employment challenge in Greater Cleveland - unemployed and underemployed noncustodial adults who are delinquent with their child support payments. The Rising Tide Initiative (RTI) is the result of these efforts, and its first class was held in June of 1995. This assessment of the RTI contains data collected by program staff from that point until late April 1997.

Bingham, Richard D. and Edward W. Hill, The economic new world order. In Richard D. Bingham and Edward W. Hill (eds.) Global perspectives on economic development: Government and enterprise finance (New Brunswick, N.J.: Center for Urban Policy Research, 1997): ix-xxiv.

None Available

Hill, Edward W. and Harold L. Wolman, Accounting for the change in income disparities between U.S. central cities and their suburbs from 1980 to 1990, Urban Studies 34(1) (January 1997): 43-60.*

In this paper we are concerned with the widely acknowledged policy problem of substantially higher levels of per capita income in suburban areas of US metropolitan areas compared to that of their central cities. We focus on causes of changes in this per capita income gap from 1980 to 1990 (for those metropolitan areas where such a gap existed in 1980) in an effort to determine what factors are associated with narrowing of these disparities. We do so by first describing the relationship between central-city and suburban per capita income across American metropolitan areas in 1980 and 1990. We review the connection between the operation of metropolitan labor markets and changes in suburban-central-city income disparities. We then develop regression models of changes in income disparities for all 111 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with populations of at least 250,000 in 1980 and where suburban per capita income exceeded central-city per capita income in 1980. This is followed by a summary of the results.

Hill, Edward W., Neighborhood reinvestment, service factories, and commercial gentrification: A policy solution that will not work, Government and Policy (Environment and Planning C), Volume 12 (December 1994):484-489.***

This article is a response to Wiewel's and Persky's 1994 paper, Urban productivity and the neighborhoods: the case for a federal neighborhood strategy. Wiewel and Persky want the central government to make substantial investments in infrastructure and education in city neighborhoods and inner-ring suburbs, allowing these areas to cash in on expected growth in the service sector. They base their policy recommendations on efficiency and equity arguments. This article examines the efficiency arguments made in the paper as they are the most important. The equity arguments are little more than special pleading for a level playing field, which should only be recommended if the efficiency arguments hold up to scrutiny.

Wolman, Harold L., Coit Cook Ford III, and Edward W. Hill, Evaluating the success of urban success stories, Urban Studies, 31(6) (June 1994): 835-850.*

Arresting and reversing the condition of urban distress in America's cities represents one of the most challenging and perplexing problems confronting policy-makers. Indeed, urban distress in American cities has proved to be a stubborn and large intractable phenomenon during the past two decades. Nevertheless, a number of cities that were experiencing distress at the beginning of the 1980s are now being acclaimed as 'urban success stories' or 'revitalized' cities on objective indicators of the economic well-being of their residents and compare their performance to that of other cities that were equally distressed in 1980. We conclude that with the exception of Atlanta, Baltimore and Boston, the purportedly 'revitalized' cities performed no better with respect to change in the economic well-being of their residents that did other cities that were equally distressed in 1980 - and in many cases performed worse.

Hill, Edward W., Julie Rittenhouse and Rosalyn C. Allison, Recommendations to the Minority Economic Opportunity Center and the Greater Cleveland Urban League on Improving Training and Employment Prospects for the Hard-to-Employ in Greater Cleveland, Report 94-7 (Cleveland: The Urban Center, for the Greater Cleveland Urban League, April 1994).

None Available

Galster, George and Edward W. Hill, Place, power and polarization. In George Galster and Edward W. Hill (eds.) The metropolis in black and white: Place, power and polarization (New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research, 1992): 1-18.

None Available

Hill, Edward W. and Heidi Marie Rock, Education as an economic development resource, Government and Policy (Environment and Planning C) 8(1) (February 1990): 53-68.*

The relationship between labor-market conditions which are expected to exist in the United States in the year 2000 and the current primary and secondary public education policy is examined in this paper. The role of educational attainment in the development of the economy is outlined and a policy model of the functions of publicly supported primary and secondary education is presented. The educational policy implications for the future structure of the US labor market are examined in the context of this model.

Spicer, Michael W. and Edward W. Hill, Evaluating parental choice in public education: Beyond the monopoly model, American Journal of Education 98(2) (February 1990): 97 113. *

In this article we develop an economic model of the provision of educational services in a metropolitan area that accounts for the number of school districts and the ability of significant numbers of families to relocate. We then use the results to evaluate the current system of public education and alternative proposals for reform. Each is evaluated in terms of its efficacy in promoting efficiency and equity goals and its ability to inculcate common social values. We argue that, compared to the current system, voucher programs will not necessarily promote efficiency and also will tend to increase racial and social segregation. Minischools and competitive contracting-out schemes, in contrast, may be able to improve efficiency without adverse equity consequences and may aid in the promotion of common social values.

Hill, Edward W., Yonkers' planners acted ethically: Its citizens and politicians acted illegally, Journal of Planning Education and Research 8(3) (Summer 1989): 183 188. *

The city of Yonkers violated the Constitution by locating schools and public housing in ways that were prosegregative. Did the city's planners act unethically, using the Davidoff-Krumholz categorical imperative of redistribution as the ethical standard? Possibly yes, but I argue that the imperative is an irrelevant standard for a city's planners and conclude that Yonkers' planners acted ethically. The imperative is valuable as a personal moral reference point and is appropriate for judging the actions of elected and appointed officials. It is inappropriate, however, as a standard for evaluating public servants. Yonkers' planners provided best practice advice to political decision makers. They were ignored.

Hill, Edward W. and Thomas Bier, Economic restructuring: Earnings, occupations and housing values in Cleveland, Economic Development Quarterly (May 1989) 3(2): 123 144. * Reprinted in Approaches to Economic Development: Readings from Economic Development Quarterly, edited by John Blair and Laura Reese (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications) pp.130-148. 1988

The impact of economic restructuring in Cleveland was felt by more than those who either lost or changed jobs. The positive and negative effects of restructuring spilled into neighborhoods where workers live, resulting in marked changes in the incidence of poverty and the relative cost of housing. We present a model of the connection between the regional economy and neighborhoods and present data that highlights aspects of that model. We trace the impact of restructuring from 1979 to 1987 through quarterly changes in the distribution of earnings to indicators of neighborhood well being, poverty, and housing values. We hypothesize that the transmission mechanism between the workplace and neighborhood is the occupational characteristics of the residential work force. The analysis of changes in the earnings distribution is done for Cleveland's PMSA, and the remainder of the article uses census tract data.

* article is peer reviewed
** article is reviewed by editorial board
*** article is invited

engaged learning
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, UR 308
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Glickman-Miller Hall, Room 208
1717 Euclid Avenue
Phone: 216.687.2174
Fax: 216.687.2013

This site contains files that require the free Adobe Reader to view.