Books


Equity, Community, and Growth: What the Nation Can Learn From America’s Metropolitan Regions

In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. This new book by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor argues that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in America’s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.

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Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions

Breaking new ground in its innovative blend of quantitative and qualitative methods, the book essentially argues that another sort of growth is indeed possible. While offering specific insights for regional leaders and analysts of metropolitan areas, the authors also draw a broader – and quite timely – set of conclusions about how to scale up these efforts to address a U.S. economy still seeking to recover from economic crisis and ameliorate distributional divisions.

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This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America

For nearly two decades, progressives have been dismayed by the steady rise of the right in U.S. politics. Often lost in the gloom and doom about American politics is a striking and sometimes underanalyzed phenomenon: the resurgence of progressive politics and movements at a local level. Across the country, urban coalitions, including labor, faith groups, and community-based organizations, have come together to support living wage laws and fight for transit policies that can move the needle on issues of working poverty. Just as striking as the rise of this progressive resurgence has been its reception among unlikely allies. In places as diverse as Chicago, Atlanta, and San Jose, the usual business resistance to pro-equity policies has changed, particularly when it comes to issues like affordable housing and more efficient transportation systems. To see this change and its possibilities requires that we recognize a new thread running through many local efforts: a perspective and politics that emphasizes “regional equity.”

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Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy

Globalization, technological change, and deregulation have made the American marketplace increasingly competitive in recent decades, but for many workers this “new economy” has entailed heightened job insecurity, lower wages, and scarcer benefits. As the job market has grown more volatile, a variety of labor market intermediaries-organizations that help job seekers find employment-have sprung up, from private temporary agencies to government “One-Stop Career Centers.” In Staircases or Treadmills? Chris Benner, Laura Leete, and Manuel Pastor investigate what approaches are most effective in helping workers to secure jobs with decent wages and benefits, and they provide specific policy recommendations for how job-matching organizations can better serve disadvantaged workers.

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Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley

This book contributes to our understanding of the transformation of work in the information economy, through a detailed examination of labor markets in Silicon Valley. It provides an original and insightful analysis of flexible labor including growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations. Contributes to our understanding of the transformation of work in the information economy, through a detailed examination of labor markets in Silicon Valley. Provides an original and insightful analysis of flexible labor including growing volatility in work demands and increasingly tenuous employment relations. Examines the increasingly important role of labor market intermediaries.Shows that some workers clearly thrive in this vibrant context, but many face high levels of insecurity admist growing inequality.

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Local and Global: Management of Cities in the Information Age

ordi Borja and Manuel Castells, with Maria Behlil, and Chris Benner

This text challenges the belief that cities will eventually disappear as territorial forms of social organization as new information technologies permit the articulation of social processes without regard for distance, arguing that the specific role of cities will become more important, and proposing that a dynamic and creative relationship be built up between the local and the global. In this way, cities will remain the focus of social organization, political management and cultural expression, equipped to deal with the enormous social and environmental problems of urbanization.

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Publications

Reports, scholarly articles and contributions.

Race Space And Youth Labor Market Opportunities In The Capital Region

Race Space And Youth Labor Market Opportunities In The Capital Region There are significant racial disparities in labor market experiences of youth and young adults in the Capital Region, with African-American and Hispanic young adults in particular having higher un- employment levels, and lower wages, than white and Asian youth. [...]

Categories: Article|

Planning For Equity Fighting For Justice Planners Organizers And The Struggle For Metropolitan Inclusion

Planning For Equity Fighting For Justice Planners Organizers And The Struggle For Metropolitan Inclusion Planners often face a fundamental tension in their day-to-day work. Because planning is inherently a technical process that requires high levels of profes- sional expertise related to land use planning, zoning provisions, regulations, government structures and [...]

Categories: Article|

Pennsylvania Industry Partnerships Performance Monitoring And Continuous Improvement System

Pennsylvania Industry Partnerships Performance Monitoring And Continuous Improvement System The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has made investment in Industry Partnerships the foundation of its shift to an industry-driven workforce development system that can expand opportunity and boost competitiveness. The Commonwealth asked the Keystone Research Center (KRC) and Penn State Professor Chris [...]

Categories: Article|

Next Generation Unionism And The Future Of Newspapers Networking Entrepreneurship And Hybrid Ownership

Next Generation Unionism And The Future Of Newspapers Networking Entrepreneurship And Hybrid Ownership The signs of crisis in the newspaper industry are all around. Headlines about plummeting stock prices, bankruptcy filings, widespread lay-offs and newspaper closings have become common place in the past two years. It is also not hard [...]

Categories: Article|

Moving On Up? Regions Megaregions And The Changing Geography Of Social Equity Organizing

Moving On Up? Regions Megaregions And The Changing Geography Of Social Equity Organizing In recent years, some advocates for social equity have sought to develop new solutions to urban poverty and build new forms of political power at a metro- politan or regional scale.The evolution of American urban areas into [...]

Categories: Article|

Learning Communities In A Learning Region The Soft Infrastructure Of Cross Firm Learning Networks In Silicon Valley

Learning Communities In A Learning Region The Soft Infrastructure Of Cross Firm Learning Networks In Silicon Valley The ability of firms, industries, and regions continually to translate information and knowledge into viable new products, services, and production processes in the face of constantly changing technology and market conditions is increasingly [...]

Categories: Article|

In the News

Interviews and mentions of my research in local and national media.

Davis organization attempts to raise minimum wage to $15

According to Chris Benner, professor of community and regional development and a supporter of the campaign, raising the minimum wage wouldn’t have a significant impact on the consumer. “The estimates for $15 of minimum wage [...]

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: In the News|0 Comments

Technology and Inequality

The signs of the gap—really, a chasm—between the poor and the super-rich are hard to miss in Silicon Valley. On a bustling morning in downtown Palo Alto, the center of today’s technology boom, apparently homeless [...]

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: In the News|0 Comments

G-Sync: A Just, Equitable City

Many of us want to believe Grand Rapids, or any city we call home, is a just and equitable place. The only way to prove such a theory is to dive head first into research. [...]

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: In the News|0 Comments

Another Reason to Promote Social Equity in U.S. Metros: Job Growth

Social equity should be something to work toward for its own sake, but in case public officials needed extra motivation, it's also been tied to prolonged economic growth. A recent report by the International Monetary [...]

By | September 18th, 2015|Categories: In the News|0 Comments