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Economic Development and Transportation and Logistics Clusters with Emphasis on China

Faculty - Anthony M. Pagano, Managerial Studies, PI, Alan Malter, Managerial Studies, Co-PI, Chris Westland, Information and Decision Sciences, Co-PI, Paul Metaxatos, Urban Transportation Center, Co-PI, Kouros Mohammadian, Civil and Materials Engineering, Co-PI, Jane Lin, Civil and Materials Engineering, Co-PI, Kazuya Kawamura, Urban Planning, Co-PI.

Transportation and logistics clusters exist across the world. These can serve as engines of economic growth. However, it is not clear what public policies should be implemented to foster the growth and competitiveness of these clusters. Clusters are a different way of looking at drivers of economic activity. For example, the Republic of Panama relies heavily on its maritime cluster surrounding the Canal to foster economic growth. In his classic work on clusters of economic activity, Porter (1998, 2000) defines clusters as "geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field. Clusters encompass an array of linked industries and other entities important to competition." (1998, p. 78) One type of cluster is related to transportation and logistics. These clusters abound throughout the world, but little work has been done to understand how to enhance these for economic development. This project is designed to examine these clusters in the US and in China. The results of this project will be a detailed set of guidelines as to how to enhance transportation and logistics clusters to grow production and employment.

This project will identify transportation and logistics clusters in Illinois and China and recommend public policies that can be implemented to enhance these clusters. In order to accomplish this, the research team will develop a cluster map of Illinois, survey cluster firms in Illinois and apply these results to transportation and logistics clusters in China. Recommendations for cluster enhancement policies in both the US and China will result from this project.

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