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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

We argue that infrastructure projects are complex and that evaluations of such projects need to do justice to that complexity. The three principal aspects discussed here are heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context. Evaluations that are serious about incorporating the complexity of projects need to address these aspects. Often, evaluations rely on single case studies. Such studies are useful because they allow researchers to focus on the heterogeneous, unique, and contextual nature of projects. However, their relevance for explaining other (future) projects is limited. Larger-n studies allow for the comparison of cases, but they come with the important downside that their relevance for explaining single projects is limited because they cannot incorporate heterogeneity, uniqueness, and context sufficiently. The method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) presents a promising solution to this conundrum. This book offers a guide to using QCA when evaluating infrastructure projects.

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Lasse Gerrits and Stefan Verweij

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Massimo Florio

Some regulatory reforms cannot be simply described by the change of a microeconomic signal, or macroeconomic instrument, leading to a specific marginal effect on social welfare. Rather, they should be represented by packages shifting a policy framework. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the theoretical foundations of the evaluation of policy framework reforms in network industries. Some potential interpretational pitfalls are identified and some guidance on carrying out econometric analyses is provided. Since the use of categorical variables has become widespread in the empirical evaluation of such reforms, methodological issues and conceptual errors that might be introduced when building numerical proxies of reforms are discussed. Some of these issues are key for the correct assessment of reforms and hence for formulating coherent policy recommendations.

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Edited by Massimo Florio

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Mark Tushnet

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Ronald W. Coan

A History of American State and Local Economic Development: As Two Ships Pass in the Night presents a three-part history of American state and local economic development since 1789. Part I concentrates on economic development from colonial times thru 1929. Part II deals with a transition era that starts with the Depression/New Deal and proceeds through Eisenhower (1961). Part III lays the foundation for twenty-first-century contemporary economic development focusing primarily thru the 1990s. Chapter 1 argues the need for, and value of, a history of American economic development as a “bottom-up” jurisdictional public policy perspective that views economic development strategy, tools, and programs as outputs of a jurisdictional policy system. The policy system rests on the jurisdictional political culture which shapes but does not determine its outputs. American economic development has displayed through its history the existence of two macro-political cultures: progressivism and privatism—these are the Two Ships. Each culture forged its own “style” or approach to economic development: mainstream/classic economic development (privatism) and community development (progressivism). The Chapter 1 model provides a framework for the history. That framework includes: characteristics of the profession (“onionization,” siloization, and bifurcation); the three drivers of economic development policy (industry/sector profit cycle, population mobility, and competitive hierarchies); and outputs which can be strategies, tools, and programs delivered by economic development organizations (EDOs) constructed, tasked, and empowered to respond to issues and problems generated in the course of the history. In particular, structural types such as “hybrid public–private,” jurisdictional lead agency, and specialized EDOs are key players in jurisdictional policy systems.

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Richard Eccleston, Richard Krever and Helen Smith

This chapter establishes the conceptual and theoretical foundations for the ensuing volume. It summarizes the debates concerning the key features of federal governance before providing an overview of the existing explanations of change in federal systems, with a particular emphasis on the application of new institutionalism to explanations of ‘federal dynamics’. The second section of the chapter focuses on the literature on the impact of financial and economic crises of federal governance before providing an empirical account of the economic impact of the 2008–9 financial crisis on the 12 cases included within the volume. The chapter concludes by outlining how an actor-centred institutionalism is applied to the case studies that follow.

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David E. McNabb

This chapter introduces readers to the diverse nature of the public utilities sector in the United States. After defining the electric power, natural gas, water and wastewater, solid waste and public transportation sectors, the chapter explains the justification for utilities’ natural monopolies designation. The chapter then moves to a history of the industry leading to the factors that shape the industry in the twenty-first century. For public utilities in general, many, but not all, of the problems they faced in the last several decades of the twentieth century have been solved. However, new challenges to maintaining sustainability have arisen to replace those that have been addressed.
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Gordon Rausser, Holly Amedon and Reid Stevens

Despite fostering US productivity growth, public sector contributions to university research budgets have steadily declined over the last few decades. As a result, the need to actively seek alternative sources of funding has become increasingly imperative. Private industry frequently offers a viable alternative, now accounting for over 70 percent of national research and development budgets, not only because of its financial resources but because of the dramatic synergies of knowledge assets that arise from successful alliances with universities. Fostering the formation of public–private research partnerships (PPRPs), legislation emerging from the US Senate in the form of the Bayh–Dole Act granted patent rights from federally funded research to universities and small businesses. This legislation created incentives for universities to select areas of research that are likely to result in commercially valuable innovations. The task of PPRP formation is complex and delicate, with many contentious issues arising such as conflict of public and private interests, setting research priorities, ownership and access to intellectual property, and academic researcher publication delays. At the center of the PPRP controversy is the absence of a framework for structuring research agreements and for assessing the inherent merit of such contracts. We present a four-stage framework for analyzing the structure of contracts for PPRPs, recognizing that the essence of PPRPs is a set of “control rights” rooted in incomplete contracting and financial control rights theory. Our framework shows how control rights can be effectively identified, valued, and allotted between research partners.