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Over the years, the Institute has given considerable attention to local labor market issues. Labor markets are to a large extent local, and therefore labor market outcomes are in part determined by labor demand and labor supply in local labor markets. Many of the policies that affect labor supply and labor demand are carried out at the state and local level in the United States.
A different approach to providing an economic stimulus to an area is through business incentives: discretionary programs that provide customized assistance to individual businesses, including tax incentives, facilitating access to financial capital, or providing technical assistance and other customized services. Staff economists Timothy Bartik and George Erickcek have recently examined one of the State of Michigan’s business incentive programs, MEGA.
Regional economies typically are dominated by one or a small number of sectors. Thus in order to promulgate policies at the state or local level effectively, it is often necessary to conduct industry studies.
An important element of the Upjohn Institute’s program of research on regional and urban studies is its focus on west Michigan, for which we publish a quarterly journal, maintain specific databases, and conduct studies of economic benefits. In addition to the local west Michigan focus, projects also focus on the following:
The Institute’s focus on regional issues recognizes that undergirding any region’s economy is its system of transportation and infrastructure. President of the Upjohn Institute Randall Eberts has published widely in this area.