Cliff Waldman, senior economist
Clusters -- a conceptual building block of regional economics -- were born on the pages of economic literature, but their identification and development is now essential for policy and planning in many states and localities. Cluster strength, as the emerging evidence is showing, has implications for regional and ultimately national competitiveness. On a gut level, manufacturers should understand the cluster concept very well given their production world of suppliers, customers, competitors, R&D laboratories, governmental organizations of various kinds and universities. Issues in Brief

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