Appalachian regional commission
Bishop, Matthew Laurence
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This dissertation is an empirical study of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Founded in 1965, the ARC is the federal government’s most significant attempt to address development in a multi-state region. It thus offers a one-of-a-kind case for understanding how the government’s investment in an array of development projects across a multi-state region can impact socio-economic outcomes. Framed in the context of regional development theory and anti-poverty policy, the dissertation examines the extent to which ARC has proven to be an effective governmental tool for improving socio-economic conditions in the region it serves. The results indicate that there is statistical evidence that throughout ARC’s history, ARC has been an effective change agent for reducing poverty and increasing income, especially in the poorer, at-risk and distressed counties. The findings from this dissertation suggest that the ARC’s Distressed Counties approach to regional community economic development has merit, and therefore should be considered for replication to other poor regions of the nation.