Pennsylvania, like virtually every industrialized state, invests heavily through a large number of economic development incentives and technical assistance programs to promote job creation in high-technology industries. In normal economic times, such a diverse and costly set of expenditures would certainly merit scrutiny; with the nation’s deep recession depressing state and local government revenues for several years, there is far greater urgency now to ensure that such investments are effective.
This study examines the Commonwealth’s high-technology economic development efforts through several lenses, and compares them to those of six primary competitors in the so-called “economic war among the states”—the neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia as well as North Carolina.
The study focuses on industrial sectors that all or most of the seven states have identified as strategic targets, including synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, plastics, computers, semiconductors, electrical equipment, and transportation equipment.
In addition to case studies and program summaries, the study uses two unique analytical tools that have never been applied to Pennsylvania before and have only been used in published studies in a handful of other states.