Innovation-based economies bring good jobs, growth and prosperity. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a good way to gauge how well state and regional economies are doing on that score, or if they’re missing out on strategic information that could help them build innovation economies.
But now there is. Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research has harnessed a team that includes scholars from both Chapman and UC Irvine to create an innovation indicator. In partnership with the CEO Alliance of Orange County, the team developed a new metric that takes a quarterly snapshot of how Orange County is doing in comparison to other tech hubs across the nation.
The innovation indicator will be unveiled at Chapman’s 43rd Annual Economic Forecast Conference on Thursday, Dec. 17, 3 p.m. PST, along with the economists’ national economic forecast, an analysis that is one of the most accurate nationwide.
The new metric provides vital information for economic growth that can “lift all boats,” said Jim Doti, Ph.D., Chapman President Emeritus and Professor of Economics.
An Innovation ‘Scorecard’
“In addition to providing local leaders with a scorecard to measure our county’s progress in creating jobs in innovation industries, we hope to use it as a tool in determining the causal factors that explain how and why innovation jobs are created,” Doti said. “By focusing on building our county into a nationally-competitive innovation powerhouse, we can lift all boats in our county and propel prosperity into our future.”
The “Chapman-UCI Innovation Indicator” is the first to use a standardized measurement of business, job and wage growth, among other factors, to draw a picture of whether the region is on course to become an innovation economy hub.
The indicator builds on the Anderson Center’s strength in forecasting, shaped by the highly accurate econometric model developed by Doti and fellow Chapman researchers. Anderson Center’s annual Economic Forecasts are recognized as one of the oldest and most respected in the nation.
This year, the new innovation indicator will also provide the first look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected innovation economies.
The impact of the innovation indicator has implications for the national economy as well, Doti said, citing a 2019 Brookings Institution report revealing that many of the largest U.S. metro areas have seen innovation jobs shrink since 2005.
“The winner of this battle will control the keys to the world’s economic prosperity for the next several centuries,” he said.
Register for Complimentary Admission to Economic Forecast
Admission to the virtual forecast is complimentary, thanks to sponsor support. To register for access, please visit the Chapman University Economic Forecast information page.