Cleveland State University

Economic Development

Research Topics


Hill, Edward W. et. al, Slanted pavement: How Ohio's highway spending shortchanges cities and suburbs. In Bruce Katz and Robert Puentes (eds.) Taking the high road: A metropolitan agenda for transportation reform. (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2005): 101-138.

The geographical distribution of transportation funding revenues has become a hot issue at both the federal and state levels.
In the last reauthorization of the federal transportation bill, numerous states and constituencies called for a revised system of allocating states' shares of the Highway Trust Fund-- more than 60 percent of which are generated by the federal gas tax. Some states argued that their shares of federal transportation dollars should be proportional to the amount of gas tax revenue they paid into the trust fund. Others wanted their shares determined by need. To a large extent both groups of states prevailed in obtaining greater equity.
In Ohio, and some other states, state transportation dollars flow to localities on the basis of neither of these standards for revenue distribution. The result in Ohio is a spatially skewed pattern of state transportation spending that is essentially anti-city and even anti-suburb. In effect, funds are diverted away from the very places that struggle with the greatest transportation needs and pay the most in gas taxes.

Hill, Edward W. and Jeremy Nowak, Policies to uncover the competitive advantages of America's distressed cities. In Iain Begg (ed.) Urban competitiveness (Manchester, UK: Public Policy Press, 2002).

This chapter is not about public policies directed at poverty alleviation: it is about re-establishing the competitive viability of distressed central cities. It discusses public policies that reconnect fiscally distressed cities to their regional economies through the fundamentals of economic development: land, labor and capital. The reason for this focus is that cities can help relieve the poverty of their residents only if they foster economic opportunity. The problem with too many central cities and fiscally distressed older (formerly) industrial and residential suburbs in the United States is that they have institutional structures, redistributive practices and political cultures that are more appropriate to the market positions they had in the 1940s and 1950s when most business transactions had to be completed within their municipal boundaries (Peterson 1981).

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., Bennett Harrison and Marcus S. Weiss, Rethinking National Economic Development Policy, Overview/Summary, in Rethinking National Economic Development Policy (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, 1997).

This paper is an overview and summary of the findings and recommendations from twelve papers written by a research team assembled by the Economic Development Assistance Consortium. The authors did not try to find either a unified line of argument or a consistent set of policy recommendations. Instead, ten of the papers were written in four primary areas: policy and principles, rural development, community development, and science and technology policy. Two of the papers looked at independent themes that were not easily categorized: One examined the federal role in mitigating the impact of military base closings; the other examined the impact of tight metropolitan labor markets on spatial income disparities between central cities and their suburbs. In this paper we summarize these findings.

Hill, Edward W., Cleveland, Ohio: Manufacturing matters; services are strengthened, but earnings erode. In Richard D. Bingham and Randall W. Eberts (eds.) Economic restructuring of the American Midwest (Boston, MA: Kluwer, 1990): 103-140.

A period of unrivaled industrial entrepreneurism from 1870 to the late 1920s laid the economic foundation for the old-order Cleveland. Steel, iron ore, coal, shipping, and oil built the city, and it evolved into a durable goods economy that included automotive production, lighting, electrical motors, and chemicals, paint, and coatings.
Things began to change in the mid 1970s. By 1979 - a watershed year - the secular erosion of the area's durable goods base became evident as the city and its surrounding area began an abrupt economic restructuring.

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.

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

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