First Advisor

Sy Adler

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Industrial policy -- Oregon, Oregon -- Politics and government -- 1951-



Physical Description

3, x, 274 leaves 28 cm.


This research identifies variables that determined the amount of autonomy Oregon's gubernatorial leadership possessed in formulating and implementing the Regional Strategies program, centerpiece of industrial policy in Oregon during the latter half of the 1980s. The literature on state industrial policy points to instances in which the leaders of America's state governments are acting autonomously. Gubernatorial actors appear to be formulating industrial policy goals independent of powerful non-state groups and other state actors and developing the capacity to transform their policy preferences into authoritative actions. The literature is largely devoid, however, of any systematic accounting of the variables that determine the extent to which gubernatorial actors possess autonomy. Drawing upon interviews with key actors involved in formulating and implementing the Regional Strategies initiative and document research, this case study points to five principal sources of variation in gubernatorial success. These are as follows: (I) Economic crisis. The inability of longstanding industrial recruitment practices to reconcile divisions caused by Oregon's deepest recession since the Great Depression eroded support for existing state economic development arrangements, enabling Oregon's newly elected Governor Neil Goldschmidt to reform state economic development policy along industrial policy lines and accumulate discretionary authority for state economic development spending denied his predecessors. (2) The division of power between the executive and legislative branches of Oregon state government. Reacting to tensions founded in localism, regionalism, and concern with having its authority usurped, Oregon's legislature placed limitations upon Governor Goldschmidt's industrial policy mandate. Legislatively-enforced measures precluded the competitive evaluation of local economic restructuring plans, frustrating a key Administration goal, and instead made equity and political expediency the driving force behind key industrial policy decisions. Legislators also denied the Administration authority it was seeking over semi-autonomous state agencies, impeding its plan to consolidate control over state economic development policymaking. 3) State fiscal capacity. Industrial recruitment's failure led voters to establish a statewide lottery with proceeds dedicated to economic development. The lottery expanded Oregon's fiscal capacity for economic development, providing the Goldschmidt administration an instrument with which to fund industrial policy. (4) The degree to which local interests were fiscally dependent upon state revenues. Administration success in securing key industrial policy goals was a direct consequence of its ability to use the discretionary authority it possessed over lottery spending to enforce local compliance with its policy preferences. The Administration proved more successful in circumstances in which local authorities were fiscally dependent upon gubernatorial controlled state lottery revenues for funding local economic development projects than in instances in which local interests were independent of the state for revenues. (5) The character of private capital investment. Economic development is contingent upon the investment of private assets, over which Oregon's political leadership exercised little direct control. The failure of anticipated private investment to materialize frustrated Administration plans to use lottery money to leverage private investment in favored projects. Investment induced by Oregon's industrial policy initiative was likely to promote job growth in low wage sectors, frustrating the Administration's goal of using industrial policy to generate high wage jobs.


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