Regional Economic Development: An Economic Base Study and Shift-Share Analysis of Hays County, Texas
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The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First is to analyze the economy of Hays County, Texas using the economic base study to determine the structure and composition of the local market. Using the location quotient technique as an indirect method of employment analysis, this research examines leading export industry sub-sectors to determine which industries “drive” the local economy by generating outside income for the community. The second is to analyze Hays County’s economy using shift-share analysis to compare regional growth against national development. The shift-share technique presents a supplemental aggregate data analysis method to strengthen the conclusions of the economic base study. The research findings conclude that Hays County is a rapidly growing region primarily dependent upon the retail, health care and social assistance, and manufacturing sectors to advance and maintain its economic development. As compared to the U.S. economy, the manufacturing sector is expanding locally while concurrently declining in the national marketplace. Given that the local manufacturing sub-sector is an integral component of employment propagation via export employment, the national decline of this industry in Hays County is significant.