Our Resources

Articles and Reports

Learn more about the latest thinking on the leading incentives issues from Smart Incentives and our partners.

Estimating the Influence of Incentives on Investment Decisions. A New Approach to the But-For Question. Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives. November 2020. 

Incentive Adjustments – Implications for Reporting and Evaluation. Guidance on Documenting Incentive Program Changes. Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives. August 2020.

Guidance on Adjusting Discretionary Incentive Programs to Support Small Business Recovery. Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives. July 2020.

Guide to Help States Adjust Incentive Agreements in Response to the Economic Crisis.  Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives. May 2020.

Gig and Independent Work. A New Frontier for Economic Development. Ellen Harpel. IEDC Economic Development Journal. 18:3 (18-24). Summer 2019.

Michigan Business Development Program Effectiveness Study, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (Ellen Harpel, Senior Research Fellow) and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 2019. 

Advancing State Data Sharing for Better Economic and Workforce Development. Dr. Kenneth E. Poole and Dr. Ellen D. Harpel. State Data Sharing Initiative, 2018.

Redefining Economic Development Performance Indicators for a Field in Transition. Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives, 2017.

Incentivizing an Increasingly Automated Manufacturing Sector: A Descriptive Analysis of U.S. States’ Manufacturing Investment Promotion Programs. Prepared for Smart Incentives by Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Jacqueline Bauman, Michael Holmberg, Jonathan Hreha, Karis Neufeld, Anna Piskunova, Alex Resch, Jamie Spitz, Jocelyn Wallace, and Anna Williams at Indiana University Bloomington. December 2016.

State Economic Development Performance Indicators White Paper. Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Smart Incentives, 2016.

“New Disclosure Rules and the Future of Incentives.” IEDC Economic Development Journal. 15:3(19-25). 2016.

“Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Incentives.” In Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options. Ed. Ana Teresa Tavares-Lehmann, Perrine Toledano, Lise Johnson, and Lisa Sachs. Columbia University Press. 2016.



Infographics and Videos
Smart Incentives 4×4 Framework: Our four core principles are that a) we use specialized data and analytical tools to support decision-making throughout the incentives process, and b) we help the economic development profession prepare for greater transparency and accountability in the use of incentives. We apply these principles to the four stages of the incentives process.

Managing Incentives for Transparency & Accountability: Administering incentive programs is not easy. Determining and reporting on results is harder. Here we break down each of the steps economic development organizations can take to collect and manage data, monitor and evaluate program activities, and report results.

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Impact DataSource

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