Competitors and Cooperators: A Micro-Level Analysis of Regional Economic Development Collaboration Networks


In-Won Lee is assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration at Dankook University. His research focuses on urban management and policy, local public fi nance, collaborative governance, energy and sustainable growth policy, and interorganizational and intersectoral management. His work has appeared in Urban Affairs Review, Policy Studies Journal, Internal Review of Public Administration, and other journals.

Richard C. Feiock is Augustus B. Turnbull Professor of Public Administration at Florida State University. His books include City-County Consolidation and Its Alternatives (M. E. Sharpe, 2004), Metropolitan Governance: Confl ict, Competition, and Cooperation (Georgetown University Press, 2004), and Self-Organizing Federalism (Cambridge University Press, 2009). His current work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.

Youngmi Lee (corresponding author) is postdoctoral research fellow in the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her research interests are local economic development policy, network management and leadership, collaborative governance, and social network analysis.


Predispositions and orientation toward cooperation or competition with other jurisdictions can play a critical role in implementing regional collaboration. By examining collaboration at the micro level, this article investigates how individual factors, including perceptions of cooperation and competition, as well as institutional and environmental factors, are related to regional collaboration. In particular, the authors assert that competitive motivation may support the emergence of regional governance mechanisms. This article explores the relationships between competitive/cooperative motivations and interlocal collaboration networks based on a network survey conducted in the Orlando, Florida, metropolitan area. The authors apply a quadratic assignment procedure regression analysis to examine how dyadic conceptual ties of cooperation and competition, along with the effect of community characteristics, affect policy network structures for economic development. By comparing estimated coefficients with sampling distributions of coefficients from all of the permuted data sets, the regression results indicate the influences of perceived competition/cooperation on the network exchange.