Ned Hill is Professor of Economic Development in The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the section on City and Regional Planning. He is also a member of the College of Engineering’s Ohio Manufacturing Institute.
Hill came to OSU after serving as Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. He was the editor of Economic Development Quarterly and Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Hill teaches public economics, economic development, and state and local public policy. He also teaches the undergraduate introductory course in public affairs at the Glenn College.
He earned his Ph.D. in MIT’s joint program in Urban and Regional Planning and Economics.
His most recent book is Coping with Adversity: Regional Economic Resilience and Public Policy, published by Cornell University Press in 2017.
Product Portfolios and the Devil's Bargain: Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development
Regional economies are nothing but portfolios of products that they export - or trade. As with any investment portfolio there are rapidly growing products, mature/slow growing products and declining products. This is the product life cycle taken to the level of the regional economy and it provides a dynamic perspective on a regional economy’s base. If new products do not enter the regional export portfolio, then growth has to decline.
This is where the Devil’s Bargain enters. Imagine that the devil showed up in Detroit in 1986 when Henry Ford test drove an automobile for the first time. The devil offered the citizens of Detroit a deal during that fateful ride: “I will grant you the location of a transformative industry that will bring unprecedented wealth and economic progress. However, it will last for 100 years and then will decline precipitously, you will then have to find something to replace it.”
Detriot’s entrepreneurs and citizens replied: “Huzzah! We take your offer! 100 years of wealth and progress! We will be the center of the next industrial revolution - Industry 3.0! We will have scale and a jobs machine that can never be defeated!” That was the day entrepreneurship dug deep into Detroit and along the south shore of Lake Erie. It was also preordained the death of entrepreneurship 50 years later along that same strip of land.