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Policy Proposals

Development economics meets the challenges of lagging US areas

September 28, 2018

The Problem

The United States has an urgent need to design and implement effective economic development policies for chronically lagging and struggling areas. Large parts of the country (including many rural areas), a number of recently declining suburban areas, and many inner cities all fall within this category.

The Proposal

In this paper, Stephen C. Smith provides a suite of proposals that would improve outcomes in education, health, infrastructure, and poverty amelioration. These proposals include raising the legal minimum dropout age to 19, providing better information about the benefits of education, facilitating family participation in existing health-care and nutrition-assistance programs, better accounting for the cognitive burden of poverty, conducting further research on the effects of infrastructure development and maintenance, expanding data collection in the United States, and integrating institutional analysis into policy frameworks. 


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