Crossing Borders: Overcoming Political Barriers to Technology-Led Economic Development

Crossing Borders: Overcoming Political Barriers to Technology-Led Economic Development

Nicholas Maynard (RAND Corporation, USA), Aaron McKethan (Brookings Institute, USA), Michael I. Luger (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK) and Alekhya Uppalapati (Kenan-Flagler Business School, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0882-5.ch709
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Abstract

In the United States, many chronically depressed counties are adjacent to their state’s border. This article explores how some non-urban counties that are contiguous but located in different states have worked with their state governments to develop institutional mechanisms to overcome the artificial barrier to technology-based economic development that state borders create. The story the authors tell can apply both to other countries that are also divided into states and to smaller countries within a federated region (such as the member states of the EU). The authors argue that political boundaries that transect otherwise integrated economic regions often impede economic development coordination and cooperation, in general, and for technology access, workforce training, and business innovation in particular. The authors use case study evidence from several successful cross-border efforts in the United States and internationally to demonstrate the critical success factors required to overcome political boundaries and initiate technology-based development. These success factors include the creation of diverse funding sources, effective leadership by a coordinated team, and the development of formal legal entities to confront legal and infrastructure challenges.

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