Publication Date

5-1-2005

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Geoscience

Abstract

Profound changes in the structure of the global economy since the end of World War II have drastically affected the way governments, businesses, and individuals interact with one another. The development of regional trading alliances (European Union, NAFTA, APEC), the end of the Cold War, and the rapid development of information technologies have contributed to new global economic theories that are being adopted by places large and small. Simply put, economic paradigms have changed. Local concerns have become more prevalent in the public debate over economic, political, and societal changes as a whole. The goal of my research is to determine the most relevant factors in attracting human capital and to examine the effectiveness of public policy decisions aimed at attracting and retaining quality human capital. Since the types of data needed to analyze trends within cities themselves are not readily available for analysis, this work was conducted at the county level. In this study, I argue that analyses of specific demographic variables using descriptive statistics and cluster analyses should indicate that Nashville-Davidson County has a distinct advantage in stocks of human capital over other similarly sized counties, and that this advantage in quality human capital can be linked to job growth in the hightechnology sector. This study's results indicate that Davidson County, Tennessee, has an advantage over other similarly sized counties in the amount and quality of its human capital. This advantage in human capital and the balance of Davidson County's high-tech economic sector (for the variables studied) suggests that Nashville is poised to make great strides economically in the global high-tech economy.

Disciplines

Economics | Geography