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Vol. 13, No. 1: Spring 2007

Economic Development and Globalization in South Carolina

by Phillip R. Stone, Lacy K. Ford

“More of the same is not going to work, because you can only get so many BMWs.”

As South Carolina entered the twenty-first century, a growing sense of concern about the effectiveness of the state’s long-standing economic development policy emerged. From 1950 through 1980, South Carolina enjoyed remarkable success in the area of economic development. Per capita income, an accepted measure of economic growth, not only increased by nearly 400 percent in real terms but also rapidly gained on the national average, moving from just under 60 percent of the national average in 1950 to an impressive nearly 80 percent by 1980. As the state’s per capita income steadily converged on the national figure, both quantitative and qualitative measures suggested that South Carolina had finally moved into the prosperous American economic mainstream. The state’s population grew by nearly 50 percent during this era, providing the labor power needed to sustain development, and the process of urbanization also gained momentum as the percentage of the state’s once heavily rural population living in urban areas increased from just less than 37 percent in 1950 to over 54 percent in 1980.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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