Local Government Article

Mobile Capital, Local Economic Regulation, and the Democratic City

Vol. 123 No. 2 This Article examines local efforts to regulate mobile capital. Despite the conventional wisdom that subnational governments cannot effectively control or redistribute capital, cities have increasingly sought to do just that. This Article describes these efforts, which include putting conditions on the entry of development dollars through contract, excluding capital through anti—chain and anti—big box store laws, and redistributing from capital to labor through local minimum wage laws and other labor-friendly legislation. The Article describes the economic and political factors that have given rise to these local regulatory efforts and assesses the viability of local regulation of mobile capital.