State TBED Investments Influence High-Tech Job Growth

Note: This article originally appeared in the SSTI Digest.

For decades, many states have created, funded, dropped, and restarted technology-based economic development (TBED) programs to correct network and market failures across the innovation system. While the need for innovation, tech entrepreneurship and the higher-paying jobs resulting from both is widely recognized, the collective value or impact of sustaining a portfolio of state TBED policies and programs has received little empirical analysis. New research published in the Journal of Social Science Research does precisely that and suggests that long-term, historical investments in state-level policies that support entrepreneurship may have helped to accelerate the development of high technology industries.

Workforce Development May Help Boost Business Formation

Note: This article originally appeared in the SSTI Digest.

From Main Street businesses to technology startups, research has shown the rate of new business formation in the United States has plummeted since the 1970s. In the past year, the Digest has frequently cited research from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), the Kauffman Foundation, and the Federal Reserve on the impacts of declining dynamism on America’s economic outlook. A recent letter by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests that an often-overlooked aspect of business formation is the availability of labor, and that policies that seek to improve and deepen the labor pool may help increase new business growth.

Making the case for more economic dynamism

Note: This article originally appeared in the SSTI Digest.

By its very nature, economic dynamism can unsettle local economies. As businesses dissolve, jobs are lost. Technological shifts can drastically alter – or even replace – companies, occupations and entire industries. As these ripple effects move throughout communities, it is easy to focus on the negative impacts, but this loses sight of the importance dynamism has on national economic health. Recent research highlights the significance of dynamism to individual, state, and national economic well-being, as well as a potential paradox: while many Americans are concerned with too much economic dynamism, research shows that the nation needs more of it, not less.

The New Urban Crisis & Inclusive Economic Development

Note: This commentary originally appears in the SSTI Digest. For similar stories, you can subscribe here

Among this year’s most talked about books on economic development is Richard Florida’s The New Urban Crisis. This commentary provides a brief overview of Florida’s book, a response to his conclusions, and insight into what the crisis may mean for economic development practitioners more broadly.

The Midwest & The Minor Leagues

I went to my first baseball game of the year on Friday, where I watched the Columbus Clippers fall to the Louisville Bats, five runs to three.

Columbus’ Huntington Park is a neat place, winning Stadium Journey’s prize for best fan experience in 2016. My family often likens minor league baseball to paying cover at a bar, and this past Friday’s special gave us $5 craft beer and wine. Needless to say, the group that I was with had a positive fan experience.

For a 70 degree evening in April, the game was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a sellout. A German colleague that I was with described the affair, where thousands of people rallied around a team where they couldn’t identify any of the players, as “probably the most singular American thing.” The game also got me thinking about the role of minor league baseball for many larger mid-sized cities like Columbus or Louisville, but also for others in the Midwest and beyond.

I made the following map to help explain the geography of minor league baseball attendance.

View Minor League Baseball Attendance (2016) in a full screen map

Analysis after the jump!

Multinationals, Deindustrialization, and Regional Economic Development

Note: This story originally appears in the SSTI Digest. For similar stories, you can subscribe here

Much has been written – both in the Digest and elsewhere – about the role of trade and automation in declining U.S. manufacturing employment. Recently released preliminary research published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies finds U.S. multinationals were responsible for a disproportionate share of manufacturing employment declines from 1993 to 2011. These results underscore the challenges facing economic development in deindustrializing regions, particularly those reliant on the branch plant economy.

Headquarters of Largest Chain Stores & Restaurants

As a fun exercise and brief distraction, I put together this map of headquarters locations for some of the largest chain restaurant and apparel companies in the U.S. and Canada. The map uses publicly available data from Chain Source Guide, but because of its age the sales data is likely inaccurate and the headquarters locations may not necessarily up to date.


View Headquarters of Largest Chain Stores & Restaurants in a full screen map

Greater NYC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco stand out for the sheer size of the chain clusters. Columbus, Atlanta, and Minneapolis-St. Paul are also worthy of exploration.

Infrastructure Priorities For The New Administration

An exclusive report from McClatchy’s Kansas City Star and The News Tribune highlights a list of the Trump Administration’s infrastructure priorities. The list includes 50 infrastructure projects nationwide, totaling upwards of $135 billion; 34 would have at least a partial revenue stream. Should they be implemented, how might these ideas impact regional economic development in the Midwest?