Economy

An economically healthy metropolitan region needs a vibrant urban core as well as strong suburban and rural communities. The institute offers articles and research on a variety of economic topics.
 

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Articles about economic topics

  • Climbing out of poverty to wealth is hard in Charlotte, research has shown. But children might struggle to reach even the middle of the income distribution over their lifetime. Photo: Samuel Zeller via Unsplash.

    How likely are Charlotte-area kids born into poverty to move up the income ladder?

    Fifty out of 50: That’s where the Charlotte area ranked in Harvard economist Raj Chetty’s influential 2014 study of economic mobility. By now, that headline finding is well-known. It’s spawned task forces and soul-searching in Charlotte for half a decade, as leaders seek a way to change the city’s dynamic and increase upward mobility. So, it’s hard to move from the bottom to the top. But what about other, less dramatic moves that can still vastly improve a person’s circumstances - say, from the lowest one-fifth of the ladder to the middle fifth?
  • In a Charlotte carport, an Indian family holds a traditional Hindu Fire Ceremony. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Immigrants play a big role in Charlotte’s growth, new study shows

    Almost one in six Mecklenburg residents were born outside the U.S., and immigrants make an outsized contribution to the local economy and many key industries.  That’s according to a new study that highlights the substantial role immigrants are playing in Charlotte’s booming growth. Immigrants make up big chunks of the local STEM, construction and manufacturing labor forces,. And they’re far from a monolithic group, hailing from countries around the world. 
  • A postcard of Charlotte from the UNC Charlotte archives. Source: J. Murrey Atkins Library.

    Should Charlotte’s “brand” emerge organically or be something aspirational?

    There was a stir in town a few weeks ago, when the new Charlotte Regional Business Alliance CEO, Janet LaBar, commented to the Charlotte Observer, “I think Charlotte doesn’t have a brand. That’s not necessarily, today, good or bad. That just means that’s an opportunity for us to actually create one.”
  • Kannapolis is hoping that a new baseball stadium will help spark a downtown revival, more than 15 years after the closure of Cannon Mills' textile plant changed the city forever. Rendering courtesy city of Kannapolis.

    Hoping to rebuild their downtowns, more NC cities are turning to baseball

    Smaller cities and towns across North Carolina are hoping an old, familiar sound will spark new life in their downtowns: The crack of a bat. Four new downtown ballparks with capacity for about 5,000 fans are popping up in the state, and officials are counting on them to draw new residents, breweries, restaurants and vitality.