Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, May 21, 2014


Copyright 2014 University of Nebraska


Every year policy makers at the local, state and federal level make decisions on the kind and amount of investment they should make in community development activities or programs. These efforts can be very broad and encompassing or very specific and tangible. Transportation projects, housing subsidies and small business assistance education programs are just a few examples of community development efforts that are supported at the federal level. The funding of a community center, providing youth career education and supporting a day-care center are a few examples of either state and/or local community development decisions. Suppose you are one of those policy-makers. You want to provide the citizens of the state with the greatest return on investment. What should you do? How do you compare these vastly different investments? It truly is like comparing apples to oranges. How do you weigh and balance these investments?