Can a mayor make a difference in a city’s long-term economic performance? Mayors have been observed making a difference in case studies and in press accounts but it is nearly impossible to link the economic performance of a particular city to the actions of a specific mayor. Terms are frequently too short and cause and effect cannot be disentangled. The term of Akron’s Mayor Donald Plusquellic offers an opportunity to make the connection. The mayor’s length of service is long, data are available, and comparable cities and metropolitan areas exist to act as informal controls for other structural explanations for the observed outcome. It is observed that the number of jobs held by Akron’s residents grew from 1990 to 2007. This fact is compared to 29 other large central cities. Only eight of the 29 comparable cities experienced growth; Columbus being the only other city on Ohio. This paper examines the ways in which the city of Akron, under Plusquellic’s leadership affected the city’s economic performance.
Hill, Edward W., "Does a Mayor Make a Difference in a City’s Economic Performance? The case of Akron, Ohio" (2009). Urban Publications. 0 1 2 3 7.