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Human-capital-centred Regionalism in Economic Development: A Case of Analytics Outpacing Institutions?
Urban Studies (2012)
  • Laura Wolf-Powers, University of Pennsylvania
Drawing on the case of the Delaware Valley Innovation Network, a regional consortium funded under the US Department of Labor, the paper argues that sophisticated analytical tools developed to facilitate workforce- and occupation-led economic development are running ahead of the institution-building required to put new approaches into practice. There are two main reasons for this. First, tensions persist around the role of the public-sector workforce system in regional development initiatives. Secondly, regional stakeholders disagree about whether ‘knowledge economy’ investments should include the training of manufacturing, transport and logistics workers. The documentation of regional occupational specialisations, ‘talent gap’ analyses and the clarification of career pathways are crucial components of human-capital-centred regionalism in economic development. However, best analytical practices are of little use without the institutional capacity to translate analysis into coherent, effective policy.
  • biotechnology,
  • occupation-led regional analysis,
  • regional economic development
Publication Date
March 28, 2012
Citation Information
Laura Wolf-Powers. "Human-capital-centred Regionalism in Economic Development: A Case of Analytics Outpacing Institutions?" Urban Studies Vol. first published on March 28, 2012 as doi:10.1177/0042098012440123 (2012)
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