An Analysis of Presidential Preferences in the Distribution of Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities



Critics regarded the selection of urban empowerment zones and enterprise communities by Secretary Cisneros in 1994 as sympathetic to President Clinton's considerations. However, the secretary countered that cities were chosen based on their ability to revitalize their communities successfully, as outlined in their applications. To determine whether the secretary responded to top-down presidential preferences, data from the complete list of applications is used to test four hypotheses derived from principal—agent theory. The results of the logistic regression models do not validate the significance of the presidential variables (for instance, presidential support score for each city's congressional delegation, marginal districts, and 1992 state vote for President Clinton). Rather, many of the nonpresidential variables (community participation, size of the empowerment zone or enterprise community, and poverty) were significant in supporting the secretary's contention.