Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard Hogan

Committee Chair

Richard Hogan

Committee Member 1

Larry DeBoer

Committee Member 2

Robert Perrucci

Committee Member 3

Jon Teaford


Since the 1970s, local governments have utilized similar redevelopment tools to counteract economic dislocations but cities often experience divergent development pathways. This project explores why these divergences occur through a comparative case study of a college town and factory town in Indiana. Qualitatively, I compile data from interviews with city officials, local government documents, and related research to address the towns’ divergent development paths. Two findings are noteworthy. First, a locality’s extant resources act as path-dependent liabilities for local growth. Second, state and federal aid greatly assists local development. Yet the defunding of these revenue streams, and a city’s reliance on specific types of funding, positions each city in a more or less advantageous position for future prosperity. These results suggest that local development is best understood as the interplay between local infrastructures, various intergovernmental incentives, and the needs of capital.

Included in

Sociology Commons