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EDA Redevelopment Area Analysis

Lawrence Wood, Amy Glasmeier

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This paper was produced as a part of the EDA and ARC Expenditures Analysis Project.

Excerpt: In accordance with the Area Redevelopment Act (Public Law 87-27), in 1965 the EDA designated "Redevelopment Areas," which included counties or clusters of counties, county equivalents, or Indian Reservations within the U.S. As further described below, "5(a)" Redevelopment Areas were marked by high unemployment, while "5(b)" Redevelopment Areas were characterized by a range of unfavorable economic conditions. It is assumed that, at least initially, the EDA allocated a disproportionate share of funds for public works and other development projects to 5(a) and 5(b) areas rather than to other parts of the country. This analysis begins with an explanation of the criteria used by the EDA to select Redevelopment Areas. It then provides a general description of socioeconomic characteristics of Redevelopment Areas compared to the rest of the U.S. in the 1960s. Finally, it assesses changing economic conditions in Redevelopment Areas compared to the rest of the United States over time, specifically the period 1960 to 1990, utilizing descriptive statistics as well as a set of cluster analyses. In sum, this analysis considers socioeconomic conditions in EDA Redevelopment Areas both prior to the EDA's inception and 25 years thereafter.