Enterprise zone effects in a nonmonocentric model of the metropolitan area

Date of Completion

January 1997


Geography|Economics, General|Urban and Regional Planning




Enterprise zone programs have caught the attention of policy makers as a novel and possibly effective means to improve the well-being of economically distressed urban areas. Despite the fact that suburbanization is widely perceived as a contributing factor to the economic decline of the inner cities, theoretical analysis and evaluation of enterprise zones and other spatially targeted economic development policies has thus far been limited to conventional monocentric models of the metropolitan area.^ In this dissertation a nonmonocentric model of the metropolitan area, extended to account for nonhomogeneous labor, is used to evaluate effectiveness of a spatially targeted economic development program. The spatial economic effects of various enterprise zone policies are compared with the impact of a cost-equivalent program that provides nonlabor income to urban residents.^ To investigate the factors that determine the structure of the urban area, a nonmonocentric model of the urban area is developed that treats the suburbanization process as an endogenous outcome. The use of a nonmonocentric model that allows for input substitutability and the ability of households to substitute goods, land, and structure captures the influence of employment suburbanization on residents' welfare. ^