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Fragmented jurisdictions in a metropolitan area have pursued individual economic benefits through competition with others. Intense development competition has produced negative economic externalities. Therefore, local governments have strategically considered collaborating with other jurisdictions in order to maximize benefits and minimize costs through collective actions. However, collaboration among individual communities potentially involves collective action dilemmas endemic to the fragmented metropolitan area. Therefore, jurisdictions strategically create and develop informal collaborative networks with others, depending on the conditions where local jurisdictions are involved. While previous studies have focused on the influence of collaborative mechanisms on economic outcomes and emphasized the importance of the roles of networks (Lee, 2009, Feiock, Steinacker, and Park 2009, Olberding 2002), this study focuses on how the networks emerge and evolve at the micro-level, especially in the economic development policy arena. This dissertation began with the research questions: how do local jurisdictions cope strategically with collective action, how do they efficiently and effectively resolve problems through informal policy networks, what motivations lead local jurisdictions to enter collaborative networks, and what effects influence the selection process of collaborative partners for local economic development. In order to answer the aforementioned questions, this study applied the institutional collective action framework (Feiock and Scholz 2010) and the cross-sectional and the longitudinal network analysis proposed by Snijder and his colleagues with the SIENA program. The micro-level analysis reveals that in the economic development policy arena, local jurisdictions prefer close-clustered relations with others, rather than loosely connected relations to central coordinators. The analysis also showed that a small number of county governments primarily play crucial coordinating roles in economic development policy networks of a metropolitan area. On the other hand, the results of the effects of homophily and resources on the selection process of collaborative partners for local development confirm that jurisdictions with insufficient resources more actively search for collaborative partners to supply resources, and that they tend to collaborate with others that share the similar political institutions and socio-economic conditions. The results help us understand the partner selection process in interjurisdictional collaboration in a metropolitan area that standard transaction costs economics cannot account for. By examining informal economic development policy networks in the decentralized metropolitan area, this dissertation provides new insights into understanding how fragmented jurisdictions within a metropolitan area self-organize to resolve problems and conflicts that result from competition between jurisdictions, and what motivations lead collaborative governance among local jurisdictions involved in economic development issues.
Interjurisdictional Collaboration, Collaborative Governance, Local Economic Development Policy Networks
Date of Defense
March 29, 2011.
A Dissertation submitted to the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Richard C. Feiock, Professor Directing Dissertation; John T. Scholz, University Representative; Frances S. Berry, Committee Member; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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