In the face of lean budgets and an uneven economic recovery, public officials are keenly interested in understanding how well their jurisdiction’s economic development programs are performing. In these tough times, much is riding on the success of a community’s efforts to stimulate private investment, create jobs, and expand the tax base.
The cover article for the June 2011 issue of Public Management discusses how a focus on economic development outcomes and results may produce a more meaningful set of performance measures than simply counting activities. Some communities report these measures in ways that can serve as instructive benchmarks for others. Moreover, the use of a wider range of economic development strategies is giving rise to a broader array of performance measures.