All posts by Andrew Reamer

U.S. Cluster Analyses, Circa 1900 and 1909

In perusing the Census Bureau archive at http://www.census.gov/history/, I found, deeply embedded in multi-thousand-paged censuses of manufacturers for 1900 and 1909, relatively sophisticated analyses of U.S. clusters, organized by industry and locality.

The 1900 version goes on for 25 pages, covering for each of 15 industries, major manufacturing operations by state and city, nominally and in terms of localization (city’s share of the U.S.) and specialization (industry’s share of city’s output).It summarizes these findings into several tables regarding the industry localization and specialization by cities and states. It ends by discussing, in detail, “The Universal Character of the Localization of Industries,” describing how the phenonmenon of industry agglomeration has been well known for centuries and explaining “The Causes of Localization”: nearness to materials, nearness to markets, waterpower, a favorable climate, a supply of labor, capital avialable for investment in manufactures, and momentum of an early start.

I’ve posted the 1900 cluster analysis here:

1900_Census_of_Manufactures_clusters_analysis.pdf
Download this file

Also available via GW: http://www.gwu.edu/~gwipp/1900%20Census%20of%20Manufactures%20Cluster%20Analy…

Source materials are here: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1900.html

The 1909 analysis is shorter, by far, but offers additional reasons for localization, e.g., convenient transportation facilities and the “habit of industrial Read the rest

The Federal Role in Encouraging Innovation: The “I’s” Have It

Last week, in a well-reportedaddress,NewYorkMayorMichaelBloombergmadean impassioned argument that stimulating innovation is an essential federal economic role around which Democrats and Republicans can and should find common ground. Bloomberg called innovation “capitalism’s most powerful force” and said “Unless we innovate, we cannot hope to succeed. And if we do innovate, there is no way we can fail.”

The mayor then laid out six steps towards creating an innovation-based economy: instill confidence, promote trade, reform regulations, cut business taxes, invest in job training, and fix immigration.

I’m one with the mayor regarding the importance of innovation and the need and opportunity for bipartisan fashioning of a federal role to encourage it. While I agree in general with his six bullet points, I think the “how” of a federal effort requires several more elements. Moreover, it’s important to understand how the various elements connect with one another.

Riffing off of the key term “innovation,” each of the elements begins with the letter “I,” so I’ll call the framework the “I formation.” Here’s the framework, the explanation follows.

Innovation

Institutions    Individuals

Investment    Information    Incentives

International Markets   Immigration

Intelligent Government

Let’s take them row by … Read the rest