A study of the economic structure and change in the Texas Triangle



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As global economic competition has intensified, many countries have begun focusing on the competitiveness of larger regions of city networks called megaregions. Consisting of two or more cities with specific linkages and connections, megaregions are becoming a new unit that researchers are using to analyze the global economy. The world’s 40 largest megaregions produce two thirds of the global economic output and more than eighty percent of the world’s innovations (Florida et al., 2007). Therefore, understanding the economic characteristics of megaregions can help isolate various challenges and opportunities associated with building on inter-relationships that enhance competitiveness. The Texas Triangle is one of 10 major megaregions in the U.S., and it functions as the primary economic engine of the Texas economy. This study analyzes how the economic characteristics of the major metropolitan areas in the Texas Triangle have changed over time by studying the basic dynamics of these metropolitan areas over the last decade. Results from this study show that each metropolitan area contains specialized export industries and that competition among them seems to be encouraging the economic growth of Texas. The basic industrial structure of the Texas Triangle has not been affected significantly by economic changes over the last decade. Finally, this report presents policy implications related to strengthening traditional economic bases and promoting sustainable economic development such as clean energy in the Texas Triangle.