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Colin H. Gordon
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA 52242-1320)
Chasing Smokestacks: Local, State, and Regional Economic Development Policies in the U.S., 1930-2000

State and local economic development policies are one of the most pervasive forms of government intervention in the modern economy. While such policies have received a great deal of attention from policy analysts and development professionals, they have been virtually ignored by historians: we know very little about the origins of such policies, the incentives behind them, or the ways in which they developed over time. My research will focus on the historical origins of local tax, fiscal, infrastructure and labor policies. This application seeks support for archival research in the records of local and state development agencies, private business organizations, and corporate records. Such a study will illuminate private, local, state, and regional motives and strategies, and contribute to our understanding of the ways in which public and private interests negotiate a "business climate" in various settings.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 6/30/2005