Specialization, exports, economic performance, and employment: An empirical analysis for Utates States, regions, and industry
Will, Renee Marie
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This dissertation investigates five relationships at the state, industry, and regional level for the 48 continental U.S. States. These relationships include: (1) export activity and industrial concentration; (2) export activity and employment performance; (3) export activity and economic performance; (4) industrial concentration and employment performance; and (5) industrial concentration and economic performance. The analysis is based upon nineteen manufacturing industries at the two-digit SIC level for the period 1993 to 1999. OLS regression models are employed in an effort to assess the strength and characteristics of these relationships. ANOVA models are utilized to explore economic performance variations across state, industrial, and regional groupings in terms of export growth, employment growth, productivity growth, GSP per capita growth, and industrial specialization measures. The objectives of the dissertation are threefold. First, OLS regression models are employed to establish whether empirical evidence supports the proposition that industrial concentration spurs export growth. The second objective is to explore whether industrial concentration and/or export activity translate into higher levels of employment and economic performance. A final goal is to observe and explain variations in state, industry, and regional responsiveness concerning the five relationships investigated. The empirical findings suggest that the significance of the relationship between export growth and industrial concentration is limited to a few states, industries, and regions. In some instances, moreover, these variables are inversely related. The same is true for all of the models investigating the influence of industrial concentration and/or export growth upon employment change and economic growth. The results also suggest that while higher levels of industrial concentration may not translate into higher levels of growth for the observed variables, they do appear to maintain higher levels of average annual economic activity. In addition, these results suggest that in some instances the benefits of industrial concentration in terms of employment growth and GSP per capita growth are only realized when concentration increases over time. However, in the case of export growth, the results indicate that growth in industrial concentration may lead to a reduction in export growth rates. Further, the results also indicate that export specialization, employment specialization, and industrial concentration lead to lower employment growth rates for some states, industries, and regions. Overall, the results do indicate that regional and industrial variations exist for the relationships analyzed, with some states, industries, and regions indicating either a positive, negative, or insignificant association. These results may be of interest to policy practitioners and industrial planners.