A new paper from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation provides a roadmap for how regional economies can grow by forming and cultivating new firms rather than chasing after existing ones. While more and more regions are coming to agree with the assessment that �smokestack chasing� is largely a zero sum game in fostering economic growth, the new challenge centers on what policies officials can implement to encourage the formation of entrepreneurial business clusters. While the effectiveness of any single policy approach to creating a business cluster is relatively modest, the Kauffman Foundation research finds that the strongest consensus supports streamlining local regulatory approvals to forming new businesses and discouraging progressive taxation at the state and local levels. The least attractive options involve policies that target spending either on research programs or on particular industries or particular firms. Localities rarely have the requisite expertise required to make good decisions in this area, the report says.
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