Jeff Hornstein

Executive Director, Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

Jeff Hornstein serves as the Executive Director of the Economy League of Great Philadelpiha. Until January 2018, Jeff served at the Director of Financial & Policy Analysis for the Philadelphia City Controller.  As such he advised Controller Alan L. Butkovitz and works on critical issues relating to Philadelphia's fiscal health.  In the past 3.5 years the Policy Unit produced numerous data-driven policy analyses on topics including the City's property tax system, tax delinquency and receivables issues, tax incentive programs, charter school finances, the efficacy of the City's tourism and convention promotion entities, and the state of retirement security in Philadelphia.  In collaboration with the City's Commerce Department, he is coordinated a major citywide an initiative to increase local spending by Philadelphia's major eds-and-meds anchor institutions.  

In his civic life, Jeff serves on the boards of Queen Village Neighbors Association, a civic association in Philadelphia, as well as the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, a citywide organization representing 25 civic associations.  He helped convene the Friends Of Neighborhood Education, a citywide initiative to build community support for neighborhood public schools.  He is also a participant in the Economy League's Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange and ran for City Council in 2011.

After leaving academia in 2001 with a PhD in business history and publication of a well-regarded book on the real estate industry "A Nation of Realtors," Jeff spent a decade in the labor movement.  He helped low-wage workers in the service and education sectors build workplace and political power.  Born in Brooklyn, a product of public schools in Matawan, NJ, with degrees from MIT, Penn, and the Maryland, he has called Philadelphia home since 2001.

Courses Taught

Instructor: Jeff Hornstein
Course Section: 026
On-Campus Day(s): Wednesday
On-Campus Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Course Description:

Virtually every US city experienced a great decline in the second half of the twentieth century.  The manufacturing base of industrial cities deteriorated as factories moved to the suburbs in search of cheaper land, creating a vicious cycle.  Following the jobs and taking advantage of racial preferences in the suburbs, working and middle class residents fled the cities. As the tax base shrunk, cities were forced to raise taxes to support services, leading to more job and residential flight. The "inner city" became synonymous with blight and decline- with ominous racial undertones- as urban and suburban political priorities and sentiments began to diverge sharply.    Yet by the turn of the 21st century, this process had bottomed out and in many so-called "post-industrial" cities, some of these trends were beginning to reverse.  In the 1990s and early 2000s in particular, civic and political leaders had to make tough decisions about prioritizing scarce public resources.  Would they focus on revitalizing the downtown core to create jobs, induce people with higher incomes to choose their city, and grow a tourism economy?  Would they focus on rebuilding the most distressed and disinvested inner city neighborhoods?  Or would they focus on shoring up the so-called "middle neighborhoods" that were able to maintain some stability during the great decline? Additionally, city leaders had to and still do contend with critical questions about who does and should benefit from economic development.  Should we prefer "trickle down" policies that focus on high-end development and presume that they will eventually lead to benefit for the less advantaged in the form of service sector or indirect jobs?  Or should cities be more proactive and ensure that public and publicly-enabled investments leverage increases in human capital development through public goods like parks and schools?   This course will focus on case studies from several cities to explore the policy options available to leaders, to assess their decisions, and to consider whether it is possible to promote economic development that is robust and sustainable as well as equitable and inclusive.

Instructor: Jeff Hornstein
Course Section: 001
Day(s): Monday
Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
Course Location: On-Campus
Course Description:

Once the "workshop of the world" with a diverse manufacturing economy, the City of Philadelphia has lost a huge proportion of its historical economic base in the past 60 years Today Philadelphia struggles to find its competitive advantage Yet it has tremendous assets that can be leveraged This course will explore the rise and fall of Philadelphia's manufacturing economy, efforts to forestall its decline in the 1960s and 70s, the racial and gender dynamics of its employment ecosystem, and contemporary strategies to create a sustainable local economy We will focus on the emerging national recognition of place-based economic development strategies, including the revival of downtown residential living, tourism and hospitality, and the role of anchor institutions, such as universities and hospitals, in the revitalization of urban America The course will combine readings in economic and social history and urban economics with case study analyses of local policies aimed at stimulating growth.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829