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Place-based policies for shared economic growth

Friday, September 28, 2018

Depending on where they live, people across the United States experience drastically different economic outcomes. However, to effectively design policies that will provide greater economic opportunities for those living in struggling communities, it is necessary to understand why some communities have thrived and others have not. Mindful of the ways in which many existing place-based policies have failed, it remains imperative to explore new, evidence-based policy options that can ultimately yield more broadly shared economic growth, including: employment subsidies, educational interventions, and more appropriately targeted federal grants.

On September 28, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution hosted a forum to explore the most effective policy options to foster place-based policies for shared economic growth. The forum featured introductory remarks by Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy, Harvard Kennedy School, and a fireside chat between Deval Patrick, former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and David Leonhardt, associate editorial page editor and op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

The forum also included three roundtable discussions featuring: Rebecca Blank, chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Shaun Donovan, senior strategist and adviser to the president on Allston and campus development, Harvard University; Maurice Jones, president and CEO, LISC; Frederick Wherry, professor, sociology, department representative, sociology, Princeton University; Louise Fox, chief economist, USAID; Tracy Jan, race and economics reporter, The Washington Post, among other distinguished scholars and experts.

The forum coincided with the release of a new book of Hamilton Project policy proposals titled “Place-Based Policies for Shared Economic Growth,” on topics including: how policies of racial exclusion have shaped regional outcomes, the potential for universities to support local economic growth, how federal policies could help places with limited fiscal capacity and resilience, how the federal government can help struggling places by subsidizing employment, and lessons from development economics for place-based policy in the United States.


8:30 AM Registration Opens

9:00 AM Opening Remarks

Jason Furman
Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy,
Harvard Kennedy School

9:10 AM Fireside Chat

Deval Patrick
Former Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
Managing Director, Double Impact, Bain Capital

David Leonhardt
Associate Editorial Page Editor, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times

9:50 AM Roundtable Discussion: The Role of Education in Strengthening Regions

Rebecca Blank
Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Louise Fox
Chief Economist, United States Agency for International Development

Shawn Kantor
L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor of Economic Prosperity and Individual Opportunity, Florida State University

Stephen Smith
Professor of Economics and International Affairs, The George Washington University

Moderator: Jay Shambaugh
Director, The Hamilton Project;
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

10:45 AM Break

10:55 AM Roundtable Discussion: The Impact of Structural Racism and the History of Segregation on Regional Inequality

Bradley Hardy
Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University

Frederick Wherry
Professor, Sociology;
Department Representative, Sociology, Princeton University

Moderator: Tracy Jan
Race and Economics Reporter, The Washington Post

11:35 AM Roundtable Discussion: Using Federal Investments to Drive Local Growth

Tracy Gordon
Senior Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Shaun Donovan
Senior Strategist and Adviser to the President on Allston and Campus Development, Harvard University

Maurice Jones
President and CEO, LISC

Moderator: Ryan Nunn
Policy Director, The Hamilton Project;
Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

12:30 PM Forum Adjourns

Event Forum

The Brookings Institution


Follow @hamiltonproj and see the conversation using #PlaceBased


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