Geographic comparative advantage is the ability to produce a good or service less expensively than other areas of the country. It is not dependent upon lower wages or cost of living. For example, labor in Silicon Valley is expensive and it has one of the highest costs of living in the country, yet the computer goods and services produced there cannot be produced less expensively anywhere else. The literature supportive of economic growth through deliberate targeting of industries emphasizes that successful programs must build on current regional assets and focus on promoting the broadest possible use of intellectual property. The literature critical of the target industries approach points out that public entities frequently over emphasize a few high technology industries and ignore local strengths and overlapping or interacting industrial clusters. This narrowed focus leads to inefficient spending to attract industries unsuited to the region’s unique economic assets. Therefore, planning to reduce unemployment and increase personal income in Missouri must begin by identifying those industries in which Missouri has a current comparative advantage and/or current advantages in innovation.
Knowledge Clusters and Patented Innovation: Comparative Advantage in Missouri’s Economy is a review and revision of Dr. Michael Porter’s work on using knowledge clusters to guide decisions on regional economic growth.
Knowledge Clusters – Rivals in Innovation: The Life Sciences Industry is a study of the knowledge clusters which make up the life sciences industry and Missouri’s development of patents in those areas.
Knowledge Clusters – Rivals in Innovation: The Information Technology Industry is a study of the knowledge clusters which make up the information technology industry and Missouri’s development of patents in those areas.