Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lucius Hallett IV

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Third Advisor

Dr. Jordan Yin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The near collapse of the auto industry in Michigan along with limited production of Pharmaceuticals has brought a number of communities to a standstill and left them with the need to survive in the face of paralyzing factors. Many academics believe that the nation is at the edge of a 'New Economy'. The new economy theory suggests that the old economy based on manufacturing is no longer viable and therefore communities should move towards a knowledge-based economy and attracting talents. This thesis assesses the feasibility and applicability of the new economy theory to the economic development of small and mid-sized communities in Michigan. Using economic composition analysis and a case study of Kalamazoo, MI the thesis finds that the economy has only slightly shifted and remains strong in industries that were developed in the old economy. For small and mid-sized communities the importance of developing feasible economic development strategies can project economic stability for the future. The research provides an example for doing so through the economic history of Kalamazoo, MI and provides the preliminary framework needed to study strategies for other communities.

Off-campus Download