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 Regional Economies

RW Ventures applies sophisticated statistical methodologies and formal economic analysis to regional economic development. We conduct nation-wide studies of cities and urban areas to inform development policy, and we perform analysis of particular cities and regions to devise customized economic development strategies.

Our approach to local economic development is based on identifying and leveraging the unique assets of a particular place in the context of the key drivers of economic growth generally and of the linkages that characterize the regional economy. This enables us to devise economic development strategies that are truly customized and tailored to the unique strenths and needs of each urban area. The Kansas City report, in the Publications section of this web site, is a good example of this type of product.

Over the course of our projects, we have developed several tools that give us a unique capacity to analyze particular regional economies. Two examples are described below.

Industry by Occupation Analysis: Using a national database compiled from millions of records, we can examine in great detail not only the local industries (e.g. biotech or aerospace), but also the functions and occupations (management or production, back office or distribution) that characterize those industries. This analysis, illustrated in the Grads and Fads presentation, enables us to determine whether a city or region should focus on attracting new industries or whether it should seek to improve its functions and occupations within the current industry mix.

City Taxonomies: In order to devise more customized economic development solutions, RW Ventures has developed a first of its kind taxonomy of cities, applying DNA mapping technology to the economies of urban areas. The taxonomy serves two primary purposes: first, it can help a city better understand where it fits in the national economic landscape, by providing a description of its type and how it differs from other types of cities. Second, the taxonomy can facilitate peer analysis: a city can see how it differs from other cities of its type and how these differences are affecting its perfomance. Identifying peer cities can also help evaluate best practices and interventions across comparable urban areas.   A more detailed description of the taxonomy is offered on page 84 of The Changing Dynamics of Urban America.


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