This report analyzes the economic competitiveness of rural areas in the United States. It summarizes a selective, interpretative review of the literature on the economic performance, the composition and evolution of rural economies in the United States, the nature of the business environment in rural regions, and evidence on the role of clusters in these areas. It also briefly reviews U.S. policies and recommendations for rural regions, concluding with an interpretation of the state of rural competitiveness and areas for future research.
In recent years, “cluster strategies” have become a popular economic development approach among state and local policymakers and economic development practitioners. Cluster analysis can help diagnose a region’s economic strengths and challenges and identify realistic ways to shape the region’s economic future. Yet many policymakers and practitioners have only a limited understanding of what clusters are and how to build economic development strategies around them. This discussion paper reviews the academic literature on industry clusters.
This commentary from the Journal of International Business Studies documents highlights from an interview with Professor Michael Porter in 2006 on his research and ideas relating to the microeconomic foundations of global competitiveness, lending a microeconomic perspective on some of the key areas of his recent research in business strategy, industrial economics, competitiveness, clusters, U.S. economic leadership, and economic growth and development.
This 2007 report by the Council on Competitiveness benchmarks current U.S. competitiveness against twenty years of domestic and global economic data. The baseline year of 1986 was chosen because it marked the beginning of cyclical expansion in the domestic economy, a high dollar, and an exploding trade deficit, which put the concept of competitiveness on the national agenda. It also marked the creation of the Council on Competitiveness. The report is a wide-ranging assessment of how the changing global economy presents new challenges for the future.
This national report draws heavily upon the regional studies of five pilot regions (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, San Diego, and Wichita) and synthesizes the implications for any region that seeks to improve its economic performance. It examines the composition and performance of regional economies, how industry clusters develop and innovation arises, how clusters affect a region's economic future, and how a region can establish a strategy and action program to drive its economy and clusters forward.
Current economic realities have provided governors with a unique opportunity to assess their economic landscapes and change their approaches to economic development. This white paper and accompanying issue brief by the National Governors Association (NGA) focus on what states are doing—and what they can do—to make their economic development agencies more effective.
This report sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration explores the fundamental changes within our economies: community, regional, state and national. It provides great insight into the current economic challenges and opportunities that cluster-based projects face in regions throughout the country as they aim for long-term economic prosperity.
This report illustrates the complementary advantages of applying cluster analysis to the established economy-wide analysis that is traditionally used in determining export competitiveness. Written in a non-technical perspective, this report provides an introduction to the cluster-based approach to competitiveness, 10 core tools used in cluster initiatives, discussion on the key stages involved in initiating cluster analysis, and finally discussion on the policy implications of a cluster-based approach. Also included is an annex of resource materials.