Jonathan Morgan Examines Local Economic Development Strategies in New Journal Article

School of Government faculty member Jonathan Morgan explores the use of various local government strategies to spur economic development in his latest published article in Economic Development Quarterly, a leading academic journal.  Everything but the Kitchen Sink? Factors Associated With Local Economic Development Strategy Use sheds new light on how much local governments in North Carolina are doing to increase business activity and grow their local economies.  Joined by Master of Public Administration faculty member Michele Hoyman and alumnus Jamie McCall, Morgan analyzes the results from his survey of North Carolina local governments in this article. ‎

Readers will gain a better understanding of the extent to which cities and counties in NC employ various strategies and tools in their efforts to stimulate job creation and private investment.  In addition, the article identifies the factors which may shape the number of economic development strategies jurisdictions use.

In the research, Morgan and his co-authors found that municipalities and counties vary considerably in their use of strategies, tools, and incentives for economic development. Additionally, they found that government capacity and the strength of the local economic development organizational network are important factors that help explain why some jurisdictions do more than others.  Moreover, the research indicates that North Carolina local governments reported using a relatively high number of development strategies on average, suggesting they are doing as much as they can do to promote economic development.

This article is based on the second iteration and update of Morgan’s original survey of North Carolina local economic development activities, the first of its kind conducted in the state.  The original survey established a baseline for tracking the use of local business incentives over time.  

Jonathan Morgan joined the School of Government in 2003. Prior to that, he worked for Regional Technology Strategies, Inc., an economic and workforce development consulting firm located in Carrboro-Chapel Hill. He has served as director of economic policy and research for the NC Department of Commerce as well as research and policy director for the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. Currently, Morgan directs the School of Government's annual Basic Economic Development Course. Morgan earned a BA from the University of Virginia, an MPA from Clark Atlanta University, and a PhD in public administration from North Carolina State University.