Course Introduction: Overview, Format, and Objectives
Laying a Foundation for Economic Modeling
Methods for Researching the Competitive Strengths of a Region
Workforce and Growth: Using Data to Tell Your Region's Labor Market Story
Mapping Industry Clusters, Analyzing Interdependencies, and Identifying Targets
Tools for Evaluating and Communicating Economic and Fiscal Impacts

Measuring the Regional Economy: Specialization and Diversity (VIDEO)


In this video lecture module, Adrienne Johnson, Director of Research for Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (TN), lays a foundation for economic modeling and a deeper understanding of your regional economy. Specifically, Johnson examines how researchers define and measure a region’s economy using industry specialization and diversification 

The module addresses the following key questions: 

  • Why are specialization and diversity important?  
  • How is a region defined? 
  • What are the steps to finding and analyzing a region’s economic strengths 

Answering these questions will prepare you to perform economic modeling, an essential analytic skill for your research.

Johnson explains and demonstrates the following:

  • How public data is used to analyze specialization in a region.
  • What a Location Quotient (LQ) is, how it is used, and how to calculate it.
  • What different LQ values indicate about a region’s economy.
  • Basic guidelines for interpreting Location Quotients.

The next module will provide you with an opportunity to gain greater familiarity with this analytic tool–for both identifying/measuring local specializations and gaining insights into the range of a region’s economic diversification.