In partnership with regional economists at Purdue University — including Christine Nolan, Ed Morrison, and Sam Cordes — EMSI last year work on an Economic Development Administration-funded project to analyze industry and occupation clusters in relation to regional economic development. The work resulted in a paper that was published in the February edition of Economic Development Quarterly.
Here’s the abstract from the paper:
Research to date suggests that occupation clusters may be at least as important as industry clusters in driving regional competitive advantage. A nationwide mapping of occupation clusters, with data available for every U.S. county and the capability to aggregate counties to a regional level, serves as a powerful complement to an understanding of industry clusters, the major focus of a previous EDA-funded project conducted by partners in this research team. This paper explains the importance of occupation cluster analysis, how 15 different occupation clusters were developed as part of this study, the results and products from the analysis, and the applications and implications of using occupation cluster analysis at the local and regional levels.