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RIGOs, Space, and Public Policy - AAG2017

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Jen Nelles

on 9 April 2017

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Transcript of RIGOs, Space, and Public Policy - AAG2017

Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs), Space, and Public Policy
Jen Nelles
Hunter College CUNY
AAG Annual Meeting 2017 (April 8, 2017)
Research Questions
How do the ways that U.S. regions are organized
(for the purpose of regional policy coordination and governance) differ from the way that they are defined
How are the boundaries of
regional intergovernmental organizations
(RIGOs) different from
metropolitan statistical areas
(MSAs) and
what does that mean????
What are RIGOs?
Wait, there's significant regional governance in the U.S.???
Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs) are:

Organizations in which local general purpose governments have come together to coordinate policies across local jurisdictional boundaries and drive regional development.
RIGOs have 5 properties:
Membership: Primarily general purpose goverments
Prominence: Largest cross-boundary organization for that geography
Function: Broad number of policy areas
Ambition: Aspire to be the voice of the region
Legitimacy: Are officially recognized by state and/or federal governments
Are found in 48 states and (almost) every major metro area
Serve 83% of the U.S. population
There are

How do political and statistical boundaries differ?
Political (RIGOs)
Statistical (MSAs)
= Spatial Dissimilarity
Types of Spatial Dissimilarity*
MSA Spillover
Multiple MSA
* Abridged
Frequency of RIGO/MSA Types
Degree of Mismatch
Boundaries are different... so what?
MSAs are how most U.S. policy makers and
conceptualize regions - Could we benefit from a different point of view?
RIGO boundaries can be dependent OR independent variables - can they explain variation in outcomes?
Can give us clues to regional identities/political tensions.
Some important acknowledgements:
We are completely agnostic about the normative aspect of RIGO dissimilarities and RIGOs as mechanisms of regional governance;
We have not looked at outcomes (yet);
Still unanswered questions about the responsiveness of boundaries and RIGO inclusiveness;
So much more to do! Next steps: answer the "why" and get deeper into implications.
More, and different, examples of dissimilarity
Thank you
Currently the Sum of Unique RIGO and MSA
Total count by type
Total of each type by state
Average of Unique Counties by Type
Average of Unique Counties by State
Most Dissimilar RIGO/MSA Pairs
Full transcript