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We provide new evidence on two hypotheses associated with the model of the city as a growth machine. The first posits the pervasive influence of pro-growth coalitions in local governing regimes. The second asserts that growth regimes make a difference to local development. Census data from 1980 and 1990 and data from a survey of community leaders in nearly 300 incorporated suburban communities are used to assess these hypotheses. In support of the first hypothesis, we find that pro-growth coalitions represent by far the most common type of political regime, but are less likely to dominate the local politics of higher-status communities. The type of regime prevailing in a suburb has a significant impact on the growth-related policies adopted by the community. However, there is no evidence that either growth policy or the type of political regime significantly influences changes in population size, racial composition, or median income of these suburbs. These results cast doubt on the assumed efficacy of local growth policies and raise additional questions regarding the impacts of extra-local factors in the development of suburban municipalities.