Urban and Regional Prosperity in a Globalised New Economy
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Urban and Regional Prosperity in a Globalised New Economy

Edited by Roger Sugden, Rita Hartung Cheng and G. Richard Meadows

There is currently a popular view that the world is undergoing profound changes in the fundamental relationships upon which it is organised. In particular, there is widespread talk of a ‘globalised’ economy, facilitated by and associated with ‘new’ technologies and practices. There is a further consensus that within this ‘globalised’, ‘new’ economy, regionalisation in some form is important. The aim of this volume is to address these topical issues, presenting perspectives from which they can be analysed and exploring specific aspects in greater detail. The contributors provide a framework for understanding current trends, and suggest approaches that highlight appropriate ways forward in the context of both opportunities and dangers. In doing so, they discuss specific cases and explore detailed policy possibilities, including the prospect of stimulating change through multinational engagement and debate.
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Chapter 10: The global economy and manufacturing: the case of Wisconsin

Donald A. Nichols


Donald A. Nichols* 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter illustrates and explores the situation facing a traditional manufacturing area looking to prosper in the modern global economy. Its focus is the state of Wisconsin in the US but, at least in its broad terms, the situation faced by that state is not unique in the world. Readers who are particularly concerned about other localities are likely to identify aspects of WisconsinÕs past, present and future mirrored and encountered elsewhere. I briefly sketch how globalisation and technology have affected WisconsinÕs manufacturing sector, and I note some of the challenges these forces will pose in the future. While WisconsinÕs manufacturing sector is quite diverse, I give most of my attention to the large and volatile machinery industry, which provides over half of WisconsinÕs exports and which is the sector most sensitive to export fluctuations and import competition. Different industries face different problems and opportunities, of course, but the effects of globalisation and technology are likely to be quite similar across WisconsinÕs major exporting industries. My intent is to provide an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that Wisconsin manufacturing will face in the new economy. The two features of the new economy that I emphasise are a) it is global; and b) it has been Ð and is being Ð reorganised by technological progress, and in particular by developments in information technology. The interplay of these two forces will change the nature of WisconsinÕs manufacturing in coming years. 2. THE...

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