Misadventures in Regionalism: Reaffirming the Importance of Central Places in Regional Economic Development Assistance

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2013-04-01
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Eathington, Liesl
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Swenson, David
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Multi‐jurisdictional regional planning and problem solving approaches have been the mainstay in rural development efforts in recent decades, and regional partnerships are often a prerequisite for state or federal funding. The authors believe that many such initiatives utilize regions of convenience rather than regions of substance. This paper describes a shift in our preferred geography for providing research and technical assistance in nonmetropolitan areas in Iowa. This shift has led us, at least regarding rural development assistance, to move towards emphasizing the provision of community development services to regionally‐important nonmetropolitan urban centers, i.e., central places that clearly serve as trade, employment, and service nodes, and away from a broader regional focus that attempts to find solutions and objectives that are agreeable to multiple, yet still intensely competitive, communities.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013
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