Growing cities that work for all: A capability-based approach to regional economic competitiveness


2019/05/21 14:46

Although today’s U.S. labor market is strong and unemployment is low, many working-age American remain marginalized. As communities across the country grapple with the challenges of an ever-evolving labor market, this report provides a framework for local leaders to grow good jobs through industrial development strategies that are based on their regions’ unique capabilities.


  • Map of economic complexity
  • 经济复杂性地图
  • Summary and objectives
  • 总结和目标
  • Key policy insights
  • 关键政策见解

Map of economic Complexity


This map provides detail of American cities’ capabilities to host new industries, as captured by our economic complexity indices. At the city level, the strategic index is a measure of a city’s overall potential to add complex industries and each industry’s propensity to spur enduring growth. Policymakers can use these metrics to chart their unique paths toward more inclusive growth.


Summary and objectives


This report aims to provide insights to local leaders on how the rapidly changing economy is reshaping communities’ distinct advantages and opportunities. Because this plays out differently depending on the unique mix of industries in each city—and the implicit capabilities they depend on—each community needs to chart its own tailored strategies toward growth. We propose a framework for regions to grow good jobs through capability-based industrial development strategies where firms specify the inputs they need to be productive and cities become more resilient and attractive as they invest in those inputs.


The main objectives of this report are to:


  • Review the main underlying causes of structural change in the national labor market—from automation to digitalization to global competition—and the nature of the policy responses to date in addressing these challenges.
  • 回顾国家劳动力市场结构变化的主要潜在原因——从自动化到数字化再到全球竞争——以及迄今为止应对这些挑战的政策反应的性质。
  • Propose a tailored approach to helping policymakers and companies bring economic growth to their regions by applying data-driven network analytics to reveal industry and city growth patterns within the U.S.
  • 提出一种量身定制的方法,通过应用数据驱动的网络分析来揭示美国的行业和城市增长模式,帮助决策者和企业为所在地区带来经济增长
  • Demonstrate how the network analytics approach can inform local economic development strategies that foster growth and good jobs through four city-specific case studies: Nashville, TN; St. Louis, MO; South Bend, IN; and Boise, ID.
  • 通过四个特定于城市的案例研究(田纳西州纳什维尔市),展示网络分析方法如何为当地经济发展战略提供信息,从而促进增长和创造良好的就业机会;密苏里州圣路易斯;南本德,;博伊西,ID。

Key Policy Insights


  • Increase complexity of industrial composition. We find that economic complexity is correlated with urban success. To grow and attract complex industries, focus on building capabilities. Cities can chart a path to growth through strategic diversification of industry.
  • 增加产业构成的复杂性。我们发现经济的复杂性与城市的成功有关。要发展和吸引复杂的行业,就要注重能力建设。城市可以通过产业战略多元化来规划一条增长之路。
  • Identify industries that maximize feasibility and strategic gain. Often there is a tradeoff between industries that are feasible and those that offer the most potential growth. To chart a growth strategy, industrial development efforts should consider both the ability of a city to host an industry, as well as the strategic value of that industry.
  • 确定那些能使可行性和战略收益最大化的行业。通常,在可行的行业和提供最大潜在增长的行业之间存在权衡。要制定增长战略,产业发展工作既要考虑城市发展某一产业的能力,也要考虑该产业的战略价值。
  • Prepare for industrial growth and decline. Using our research to anticipate the growth and decline of industries, a city can prepare for occupations that will be in demand by upskilling existing workers and attracting others with existing skill sets. Understanding which industries are expected to contract will allow workers and cities to prepare.
  • 做好工业增长和衰退的准备。利用我们的研究来预测行业的增长和衰退,一个城市可以通过提高现有工人的技能和吸引其他拥有现有技能的人,来为需求的职业做好准备。了解哪些行业有望签约,将使工人和城市做好准备。
  • Focus on capabilities in order to grow and attract industries. Although tax incentives may attract firms, they do not develop capabilities. Rather than engage in a race to the bottom, cities should prioritize worker skills and infrastructure over tax incentives. These efforts should be tailored to the specific requirements an industry needs to be successful.
  • 专注于能力,以发展和吸引行业。尽管税收优惠可能会吸引企业,但它们并没有开发能力。城市应该优先考虑工人技能和基础设施,而不是税收优惠,而不是进行一场逐底竞争。这些努力应该针对一个行业成功所需要的特定需求进行调整。
  • Ensure growth industries fit local workforce skills and provide upward mobility. Target industries that match a city’s workforce skills, pay well, and offer worker benefits. Foster entrepreneurial activity to enhance upward mobility by building a diverse economy with numerous complementary capabilities.
  • 确保增长型产业符合当地劳动力技能,并提供向上流动。目标行业要与城市的劳动力技能相匹配,薪酬要高,并为工人提供福利。通过建立具有众多互补能力的多样化经济,促进创业活动,以增强向上的流动性。
  • Develop institutional foundations for inclusive growth. Offer affordable housing, lower commuting cost and time, and provide support and benefits that are linked to workers, not just jobs. Support wage subsidies and other related policies which are good for both sides of the labor market.
  • 为包容性增长建立制度基础。提供负担得起的住房,更低的通勤成本和时间,并提供与工人有关的支持和福利,而不仅仅是工作。支持有利于劳动力市场双方的工资补贴等相关政策。

This report was produced by the Global Economy and Development Program’s Center for Universal Education in collaboration with the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. Carlos Daboin, Gabriel Hernandez, and Isha Shah were instrumental in their research assistance: They contributed deep insight to the research process, as well as provided data analytics and visualizations.

这份报告是由全球经济与发展项目的普及教育中心与布鲁金斯学会的都市政策项目合作完成的。Carlos Daboin、Gabriel Hernandez和Isha Shah在他们的研究援助中发挥了重要作用:他们为研究过程提供了深刻的见解,并提供了数据分析和可视化。

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