Creating opportunity for all
Income inequality and inclusive economic growth are driving economic development discussions around the world. Related challenges like stagnating wages and economic mobility are concerns for business leaders and policymakers alike. A number of recent studies have tackled these issues. TINAN 72 covered Remaking Economic Development, a Brookings Institution paper that argues for a vision of regional economic growth that improves living standards for all. This issue looks at Opportunity for All: Strategies for Inclusive Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
According to Opportunity for All, underemployment, poverty, and income inequality represent lost opportunities at the individual and community level. For communities, these costs can include reduced economic output, consumption and productivity, and spending on social programs and programs to alleviate poverty. These costs make inclusive growth an important consideration for economic developers. Opportunity for All defines inclusive economic development as “community-based strategies that aim to improve economic opportunity for all, with a focus on disadvantaged residents.”
As well as looking at evidence of these issues, the paper explores themes and promising practices from nine communities trying to promote inclusive economic development. While the paper is focused on American communities, the ideas and challenges discussed certainly aren’t limited to the United States.
For those seeking to discuss the report further, the IEDC is hosting a webinar on December 13th to share findings and case studies from Opportunity for All. The full report is available as a free download for IEDC members or from the IEDC bookstore for non-members. The executive summary is here.