Panel: Community/Economic Development Interventions: How Do Residents, Neighborhoods, and Cities Fare?
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Thursday, November 8, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Coolidge - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Joseph Firschein, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Discussants:  Jonathan Spader, Harvard University and James Riccio, MDRC

The Impact of HOPE SF on Adult Economic Mobility
Carolina Reid, University of California, Berkeley

Making Collaboration Work: Local Strategies for Addressing Poverty and Inequality
Michael Rich, Emory University and Robert Stoker, George Washington University

Exploring the Tradeoffs Local Governments Make in the Pursuit of Economic Development and Equity
Eric Stokan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Aaron M. Deslatte, Northern Illinois University and Megan E. Hatch, Cleveland State University

Spatial inequality is growing alongside income and wealth inequality as households sort themselves into higher and lower amenity communities. Recognizing that neighborhood conditions can affect life outcomes—especially for children—policymakers and philanthropists are pursuing community and economic development of neighborhoods and even entire cities with renewed attention. To be sure, there have been decades of efforts to upgrade the physical and social infrastructure of communities, but in recent years there has been a sustained increase in the number of large place-based initiatives and tax and other incentives focused on local development.

For an approach that has attracted so much interest, surprisingly little is known about community/economic development efforts—far less, for example than most household-focused non-place-based interventions. This panel represents an important step forward in what is known about where these efforts operate, how they do so, and what effects they have for residents and neighborhoods.

The panel draws together impressive new work on some of the signature initiatives across the country—work that is highly coherent, but not duplicative. This includes a resident-level impact assessment of HOPE SF, an ambitious effort in San Francisco to redevelop four large public housing sites into mixed-income housing. It also includes a longitudinal neighborhood-level impact assessment of three large place-based revitalization efforts: Atlanta’s East Lake Initiative, Baltimore’s East Baltimore Revitalization Initiative, and San Diego’s City Heights Initiative. A third paper compiles original data from 70 cities to examine, quantitatively, the ways that cities engage in community development initiatives and the implications that engagement has for local progress and sustainability. The fourth paper constructs a national dataset of municipal government policy decisions between 1984 and 2014 to examine the factors that lead these governments to make tradeoffs in their usage of economic and community development policies.