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Economic Perspectives, 25, 2nd, No. 2, May 2001
Are the large central cities of the Midwest reviving?
Most central cities of the large metropolitan areas of the Midwest showed signs of improvement during the 1990s compared with the previous two decades, according to such broad measures as population, employment, unemployment, and income. If such gains can be sustained, it will be welcome news for households residing in central cities who experienced erosion of their income and tax base during the second half of the 20th century. Such gains might also provide important evidence of the results of the recent policies of big city mayors, who have been very active in both improving the quality of urban life.through transportation, crime, and school reform initiatives.and engaging in economic development initiatives.such as work force training and rebuilding city infrastructure. In this article, I analyze broad measures of 11 central city economies since 1970 to assess whether there has been any underlying structural improvement in big city performance beyond the effects of the general U.S. and regional economic expansion.


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