Policies aimed at economic development can be judged by two criteria: efficiency and equity. Policies that result in both greater efficiency and greater equity lead to shared economic prosperity for a region. The innovation economy includes some of the fastest growing industries which generate new wealth in the U.S. Within this context, the life sciences industry has been a prime target for economic development for individual states. This case study examines the economic development agenda in the Massachusetts life sciences industry and whether these efforts result in both sustaining competitive advantage (i.e., continuous innovation that improves productivity and product and service quality) and supporting greater equity—particularly equality of opportunity and a fair distribution of outcomes. In addition to examining how economic development supports sustained competitive advantage, the study focuses on the extent to which equity goals are defined, implemented, and realized by employers and stakeholders in this fast growing sector.
This case study design employs both quantitative and qualitative methods, between 2000 and 2010. I find that the life sciences industries in Massachusetts have sustained competitive advantage with growth and concentration intensifying in the second half of the decade. Growth in the life sciences has benefited the highest skilled workers, but left many others behind. Industry concentration in downstream operations (e.g., manufacturing and clinical trials), which is thought to benefit mid-skilled workers, has not been realized in Massachusetts. However, there is some evidence that economic benefits are spreading. Growth has concentrated not only in the Boston-Cambridge core, but also in the Worcester I-495 region. Although women and minorities have been underrepresented in the innovation economy, they have had greater access to employment opportunities in the life sciences when compared to other high tech sectors.
In the interest of supporting equity goals in economic development, possible policy solutions are numerous. Growth in the life sciences sector results in increased state tax revenues. This increase in revenue is more than sufficient to cover existing economic development efforts and might also cover initiatives in the local services sector and increase initiatives that address workforce diversity.
|Advisor:||Stevenson, Mary H.|
|Commitee:||Carre, Francoise, Clayton-Matthews, Alan, Johnson, Michael|
|School:||University of Massachusetts Boston|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Economic development, Equity, Life sciences industry|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be