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Teaching and Research Interests
My teaching and research activities revolve around the many facets of regional development, especially those that concern the dynamics of regional growth, development policy, and factors that impact the economic health of communities and regions. While I am interested in both patterns of regional development and the processes that produce them, my approach to teaching and research emphasizes empiricism and policy relevance. To that end, my research has focused on regional income convergence; the impact of segregation and spatial mismatch on metro area growth; suburbanization of producer service firms; the role of “unearned” income (transfer payments, interest, dividends, rent) on local employment growth; the impact of professional sports teams and facilities on metro areas; industry clusters in regions undergoing rapid structural change; economic impact assessment; and program evaluation. I am also the author of Charlotte’s Business Growth Index, a joint effort with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
Many of these research activities also find their way into my classroom. I am a firm believer that students at all levels are best served when they can apply theory and concepts to real issues of development, planning and policy. Over the years, my students have conducted cost-benefit analyses of industry incentives; estimated the attendance impact of new sports facilities; and devised economic development strategies for local governments. I advocate blending theory, concepts, application and policy and encourage my students to do the same.