This project analyzes patterns of economic growth and social equity in all metropolitan regions in the country with a population over 250,000, to help identify factors and conditions that are correlated with both economic growth and social equity. A sub-set of “Just Growth” regions were identified for a more in-depth qualitative analysis to obtain the “inside story” of each region. This project will examine the work of organizations that embody the integrated vision of simultaneously creating jobs and promoting equity within their region to share lessons regarding policy and economic strategies with key organizations involved in the growing regional equity movement.
Integral to this project analysis is the expansion of the growth with equity notion. Numerous studies have shown that measures of regional inequality like the city-suburb poverty ratio or the geographic concentration of the poor have a negative impact on per capita income growth and other growth indicators. Linking the inequalities of a region and its effect on overall economic stagnation builds on the model of the intertwined fate of regional competitiveness and economic security and prosperity. Overall, the study is designed to assist regional equity proponents and to create well-reasoned economic growth agendas. In addition, it identifies the regional conditions most likely to produce pro-growth and pro-equity organizations and approaches as a way of guiding the targeting of resources to build a broader national understanding of “Just Growth” strategies. Looking beyond simply the redistributional strategies put forth in current regional equity agendas, Just Growth is at its foundation an overall regional growth model with equity built in it rather than being treated as a byproduct in which the core benefits are trickled down, as it has commonly been the case. This project furthers the scope and adds specifics to an under-specified area of concern.
This project has received support from the Ford Foundation, with supplemental support for the data analysis provided by the MacArthur Foundation via a subcontract from UC Berkeley.