Article | March 21, 2022

Industrial Policy and Local Economic Transformation: Evidence From the U.S. Rust Belt

State and local governments frequently invest in policies aimed at stimulating the growth of new industries, but studies of industrial policy and related economic development initiatives cast doubt on their effectiveness. This article examines the role of state-level industrial policies in contributing to the different economic trajectories of two U.S. metro areas—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio—as they adapted to the decline of their legacy industries.