Assessing the Midwest Economy: Looking Back to the Future

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago symposium.


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Prepared by:
William A. Testa, Thomas H. Klier, and Richard H. Mattoon
Economic Research Department

Report of Findings

Table of Contents


I. Motivation and Goals of the Midwest Assessment Project

II. Documenting the Turnaround

III. Why Did the Region Revive?

  • Timing and Depth
  • External Conditions
    - Emerging Geography of the Auto Industry
    - Federal Spending Patterns
    - Energy
    - Exports
  • Changing How We Do Business (Internal Adjustments)
    - Technology and Organization
    - Costs of Business Operation
    - The Public Sector
    - Institutional Capital

  • Recap

IV. Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

  • Technology and Productivity
  • Open Markets and Open Borders - Challenges
  • Work Force Issues
    - Education of the Young
  • Rural Areas
  • Metropolitan Areas
  • State Local Government Policies
    - Tax and Economic Development Policy
    - Infrastructure

V. Conclusions: The End of the Beginning

  • Review and Outlook
  • Blueprint for Action
    - Education and Work Force Training
    - Regional Policy Importance
    -- Changing Industry Structure, Location, and Technology
    -- Urban Cores and Metropolitan Areas
    -- Rural Communities
  • A Future that Requires Better Regional Information

VI. Notes

VII. Appendix

  • Acknowledgments
  • Schedule and Description of Workshops
  • Participants in the Process
  • Working Papers

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