1st Edition

Economic Development for Everyone Creating Jobs, Growing Businesses, and Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities

By Mark M. Miller Copyright 2017
    248 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How do we create employment, grow businesses, and build greater economic resilience in our low-income communities? How do we create economic development for everyone, everywhere – including rural towns, inner-city neighborhoods, aging suburbs, and regions such as Appalachia, American Indian reservations, the Mexican border, and the Mississippi Delta – and not just in elite communities?

    Economic Development for Everyone collects, organizes, and reviews much of the current research available on creating economic development in low-income communities. Part I offers an overview of the harsh realities facing low-income communities in the US today; their many economic and social challenges; debates on whether to try reviving local economies vs. relocating residents; and current trends in economic development that emphasize high-tech industry and high levels of human capital. Part II organizes the sprawling literature of applied economic development research into a practical framework of five dynamic dimensions: empower your residents: begin with basic education; enhance your community: build on existing assets; encourage your entrepreneurs; diversify your economy; and sustain your development.

    This book, assembled and presented in a unified framework, will be invaluable for students and new researchers of economic development in low-income communities, and will offer new perspectives for established researchers, professional economic developers and planners, and public officials. Development practitioners and community leaders will also find new ideas and opportunities, along with a broad view on how the many complex parts of economic development interconnect.


    Part I. Foundations of economic development and low-income communities

    Chapter 1. Who cares? What are the realities facing low-income populations and communities in the United States today?

    Chapter 2. Why bother? Who cares about the future of low-income communities?

    Chapter 3. What’s the use? What can mainstream economic development do for low-income communities? 

    Part II. Five dynamic dimensions of economic development for low-income communities

    Chapter 4. Empower your residents: begin with basic education

    Chapter 5. Enhance your community: build on your existing assets

    Chapter 6. Encourage your entrepreneurs

    Chapter 7. Diversify your economy

    Chapter 8. Sustain your development


    Mark M. Miller is a professor of geography at the University of Southern Mississippi, USA, with a specialty in economic development and low-income communities. He has pursued his research interests across Mississippi and the South, Arizona, Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, and Nunavut.

    "Mark Miller’s book, Economic Development for Everyone, is the best economic development book in decades. In it, Miller approaches the impossible goal of writing a book with academic rigor, yet with practical application, that reaches a diverse audience of academics, students, economic development practitioners, and community leaders. The book is focused on "ED practice, rather than more basic research or theory-building" (p. 5), yet the depth and breadth of the literature covered is astounding. […] Practitioners of economic development, even those not primarily working with low-income communities, should read this book. The goal of economic development should be to create opportunities for everyone, and Miller gives an excellent review of the effectiveness of those approaches. Economic development as an academic field owes him a debt of gratitude. We now have a single source that captures the best approaches and research across the field."Jason Jolley, Ohio University, USA, published in Economic Development Quarterly, October 2018.