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Seeking Papers/Chapters

​Seeking authors for an edited book to be published by Springer in June 2020.

Productivity Growth in the US: The Role of Urban and Regional Action

Editors: Edward C. Ratledge and Muhammad Naveed Iftikhar

Joseph R. Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware


Please provide an abstract (max 500 words) to by September 30, 2019.

The chapters/papers should address productivity growth in the US under one or more of the following themes:

  1. Measurement of Productivity at State, Regional and City Level
  2. Urban Design and Policies
  3. Demographic Shifts in Cities and Regions
  4. Technical and Vocational Education Initiatives by Cities and Regions
  5. Supporting Firm Creation and Expansion in Cities and Regions

We will inform the authors if the idea/abstract approves by October 30, 2019.

Final paper (1.5 space, 15-25 pages) to be submitted by Dec 15, 2019.

First review by Jan 30, 2020.

Revised drafts by Feb 25, 2020.

Draft to be submitted to the publisher March 1, 2020.

  • The US economy has been facing a steady decline in labor force productivity (output per hour of labor) growth.
  • In the last decade (2007-2018), annual average change in the productivity in the non-farm business sector was 1.3%. In comparison, it increased by 2.2% from 1990-2000 and 2.7% from 2000-2007.
  • Declining labor force productivity can undermine job creation, wage levels, revenue collection, and aggregate demand. 
  • Measures to promote productivity growth in the US are focused on economic policies at the federal level. However. productivity growth is a multifaceted phenomenon best understood through an interdisciplinary lens.  
  • This book will bring a fresh perspective to the role of cities and regions in promoting  productivity growth in the US.
  • This book will help to enhance understanding of how public policy at the city and regional level is supporting or hindering productivity growth through focus on factors such as demographic change, business creation, urban design, and efforts to promote technical and vocational education. 

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.

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​Seeking papers and chapters for an edited book to be published by Springer in June 2020.
Productivity Growth in the US: The Role of Urban and Regional Action
​Seeking papers and chapters for an edited book to be published by Springer in June 2020. 
Productivity Growth in the US: The Role of Urban and Regional Action

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  • Biden School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687
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