Over the last 20 years, Chicago has apparently moved from a manufacturing based economy to a services based economy, mirroring a change in the U.S. economy. Is this an accurate characterization of the Chicago economy and, if so, what are the implications for the future of the region? In order to answer this and other questions, the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory has been developing a comprehensive analysis of the Chicago regional economy for the last three years. This analysis has been derived from the Chicago Region Econometric Input-Output Model (CREIM), a comprehensive model that enables the identification of the historical differences in structure of the Chicago and U.S. economies over the period from 1970 to 1990, and forecasts of the structure of the Chicago region for the period from 1990 to 2000. Our goal is to try to understand the future for Chicago in terms of some of the major structural changes that have occurred in the last two decades. In so doing, we will reveal the important changes that have taken place in the nature of the economic engine that drives the region's economy.
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