Overall productivity growth in the US has been on a declining trend since the 1970s, aside from a brief increase during 1990s. Stagnating productivity growth has a negative impact on national income levels and can thereby undermine the quality of life for the country's population.
Urban and regional action has immense potential to enhance productivity growth and thereby promote job growth and income opportunities. However, the prevailing policy dialogue in the US is mainly dominated by federal level interventions and economic policies. Since productivity growth is a multifaceted phenomenon, it is best understood through an interdisciplinary lens, which is the purpose of this study.
Cities and regions have long played a key role in advancing knowledge spillovers, skill development and innovation that spurs productivity growth through internal and external economies of scale.
Demographic patterns in a region hold key importance in productivity growth of a country at large. Most advanced economies are facing the demographic challenge of an aging population. The loss of productivity growth from this retiring population and the associated reduction in aggregate demand can undermine the rate of economic growth and average income levels.
Another contributor to productivity growth is entrepreneurship and business dynamism i.e. the creation of new firms and allocation of capital and human resources for more productive firms. There is evidence in the US that the slowdown in business startups and growth of small and young firms have significantly contributed to the economy's suboptimal productivity growth.
In light of such imperatives, there is a need to examine ways to arrest the slowdown in productivity growth in the US through urban and regional policy action. This includes attention to factors such as technical and vocational education, incentives for technology clusters, business creation and expansion, and reduced societal fragmentation among other factors. The editors invite scholarly and policy contributions which are based on rigorous research to address the above concerns.