Call for Papers for a special issue of The Review of Regional Studies

Guest Editor, Daniel Sutter, Troy University

Targeted Economic Development Incentives, Economic Freedom and Regional Prosperity

This special issue seeks to explore the relationship between the use of targeted tax exemptions or breaks and other forms of incentives to attract and retain businesses and ensure a prosperous local economy.  Targeted incentives refer to exemptions in taxes provided to selected firms as opposed to across the board tax cuts.  The special issue seeks to address broad themes like, Do targeted incentives contribute to or reduce economic freedom?  Can targeted incentives generate a prosperous regional economy?  Are targeted incentive deals an example of cronyism?

The special issue is receptive to papers pursuing these themes using a variety of methods, including literature reviews, meta-analyses, and case studies, in addition to theory and empirics, as well as papers addressing a variety of specific topics related to the broad themes.

Papers for the special issue could address topics including:  A review of economists’ analysis and opinions regarding economic development over time; the diffusion of incentive programs across jurisdictions; whether government revenue lost due to incentives leads to increases in tax rates; whether incentive deals approximate incentive-compatible contracts between local governments and businesses; are political connections indispensable to receive targeted incentive deals; whether mobility and interjurisdictional competition increases the ability of less politically connected firms to incentives; whether economic freedom and prosperity is increasing or decreasing in regional economies or states that have most aggressively pursued targeted incentives for business, and whether the welfare effects of targeted tax breaks differ from financial assistance to firms.

Papers must be submitted by May 1, 2017, with the special issue to be published in late 2017.

If you would like to discuss a topic for the special issue prior to submitting an abstract, please contact the editor of the special issue directly (

To prepare papers for submission to the special issue, sessions will be organized at the Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA) meetings in Memphis, March 30-April 1, 2017.  The Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies have travel awards available to enable authors from selected papers to attend the meetings and present their papers for feedback prior to submission for the special issue.  Papers can be submitted for the special issue without being presented at the SRSA conference, and papers selected for the sessions are not assured of acceptance in the special issue.

Organized Sessions Travel Support

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University will organize sessions at the 2017 Southern Regional Science Association meetings in Memphis, March 30 – April 1, to help prepare papers for submission to a special issue of The Review of Regional Studies on the general subject of “Targeted Economic Development Incentives, Economic Freedom, and Prosperity.”  The call for papers for the special issue can be viewed here.  Two sessions will be organized at the SRSA meetings.  Travel support for one author of papers selected for the sessions will be available from the sponsoring organizations, and there will also be a dinner and reception for the contributors to the sessions during the conference.

To be considered for the sessions, authors should submit an abstract of not more than 300 words detailing the topic, methods, and expected contribution of their paper by January 10, 2017 to Scott Eastman (  Authors of papers selected for the sessions will be notified by January 20, 2017, and a completed draft of papers for the conference will be due by March 1, 2017.  In addition to consideration for the special issue of The Review of Regional Studies, papers will be additionally considered for publication as Mercatus Working Papers.

Last Updated: 12/7/2016