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New Policies Needed to Help Economically Distressed Communities

Sometimes places—and not just the people who live in them—need government help in recovering from severe economic distress, according to an article in the Winter 2011 Issues in Science and Technology.

Author Michael Greenstone, formerly the chief economist of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, and coauthor Adam Looney found in their research that some U.S. communities that had devastating job losses in previous recessions, such as those of the early 1980s, often suffer economically for decades. They believe that a similar fate may await communities affected by the recent Great Recession.

Greenstone and Looney draw on economic research to argue that a national economic strategy is justified to help future distressed communities avoid or shorten the long period of adjustment that previously distressed communities have endured. They propose a basket of policy options that could begin the process of restoring good jobs to local workers.

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