Throughout the developed world governments have invested substantial sums in local and regional economic development. Many have spent heavily on local development agencies and strategies to bolster competitiveness within world markets. What has been the impact of these actions? How effective are the strategies and processes employed by development agencies? How well funded are development efforts in one nation compared to another, and how are their objectives defined?This book addresses these questions. It:·[vbTab]explores the impact and functioning of economic development agencies;·[vbTab]makes a unique contribution to the emerging literature on economic development agencies by reporting on the results of a cross-national survey of economic development practitioners;·[vbTab]compares the 'institutional architectures' of economic development in Australia, England, the United States and Northern Ireland;·[vbTab]analyses how these institutional arrangements affect individual agencies and their regions.This book is intended for a wide audience including economic development practitioners, local government officers, officials within national or state governments and academics. It provides the reader with a greater appreciation of how local and regional economic development systems operate in different economies and aids understanding of what makes the economic development system in each nation unique. It challenges ideas about the uniformity of economic development efforts and encourages practitioners and policy makers to experiment with and explore strategies used elsewhere.