Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


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Document Type



NEBRASKA POLICY CHOICES 1987, ed. Russell L. Smith (Omaha: Center for Applied Urban Research, 1987).


Copyright © 1987 University of Nebraska Board of Regents.


Small Nebraska towns have declined in population and wealth. while facing increasing demands, higher costs, and more problems. For them, economic development may be a way out. We found that participation was related to inplace governmental capacities and physical facilities. In turn, these capacities were related to the size and wealth of the communities. However, some smaller and poorer communities did participate, against the odds, suggesting that commitment is required. Federal, state, and other agencies offer help in development, apparently on demand. Rather, help should be directed to those small towns with a demonstrated capacity and commitment, given limited resources. Other small towns need help to build capacities toward a threshold of economic development.